A Painted House Author:John Grisham The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words... more » that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop."
Thus begins the new novel from John Grisham, a story inspired by his own childhood in rural Arkansas. The narrator is a farm boy named Luke Chandler, age seven, who lives in the cotton fields with his parents and grandparents in a little house that's never been painted. The Chandlers farm eighty acres that they rent, not own, and when the cotton is ready they hire a truckload of Mexicans and a family from the Ozarks to help harvest it.
For six weeks they pick cotton, battling the heat, the rain, the fatigue, and, sometimes, each other. As the weeks pass Luke sees and hears things no seven-year-old could possibly be prepared for, and finds himself keeping secrets that not only threaten the crop but will change the lives of the Chandlers forever.
A Painted House is a moving story of one boy's journey from innocence to experience.« less
I was not a fan of this book although I know many people that have enjoyed it. I sincerely hope it finds a home with someone who will appreciate it more than I did. It is slower moving than most of Grisham's novels.
I usually am not a big fan of John Grisham, only because I don't really like legal thrillers. This, however, is completely different from anything else that I have seen written by him. It kind of reminded me of both Huck Finn and Grapes of Wrath. It is definately one of the best books I have ever read. I have recommended this book to all of my friends and family because it really did surprise me by being such a great book!
John Grisham is a master of writing legal dramas so I wondered wondered how good he would be out of that format. He did not disappointment. The setting for A Painted House is a poor cotton farm in Arkansas in the 1950's. The story is told from the perspective of a 7 year old boy, Luke. The characters are very clearly developed. Luke encounters much at such a young age; his story is mesmerizing. In writing this books, Grisham clearly shows he is a versatile writer. It is a book you won't be able to put down.
I enjoyed this book simply for the fact that the descriptions were so vivid, and it was a easy read. The story of the seasonal farmers is very interesting, and the perspective of the child was an interesting view.
I read this book sometime ago, but still remember how impressed I was that an adult could write a book from a 7-year old child's perspective and make it believable. The story of this boy growing up in rural Arkansas (based on Grisham's own childhood) was engrossing, suspenseful, enjoyable, and believable. Whether you are a Grisham fan or not (I am), you should try this departure from his usual legal thrillers.
Being from the city my entire life, I thoroughly enjoyed this book for its insight into life on a farm in the country through the eyes of a young boy. That it was set in a period back in history was even more intriguing. Anything but idyllic, A Painted House is brutally real as it tells the story of a poor farming family and how their fate is tied to the land and weather.