Leslie Lynnton falls in love with Texas, sight unseen, when a rancher who came to buy a horse from her father inspires her to sit up all night reading Texas history. A few weeks later, as Mrs. Jordan Benedict, she finds Texas isn’t at all what she expected, nor, for that matter, is her husband.
Leslie is sophisticated, cultured, politically liberal. Texans like her husband are red-necks by choice: Ivy-league educated but tumble-weed ignorant, champagne and caviar masquerading as hogs and hominy.
Jett Rink, a nasty ranch hand whom Bick has thrown off the ranch, strikes oil and the Benedict’s fortunes fall as Rink’s rise and the face of Texas changes.
The Benedict’s marriage is a rack on which Edna Ferber hangs her speculations about what makes Texans different from other people. Unfortunately, there’s not much to the book other than her speculations.
The plot is thin. Most of the characters have mere walk-on parts. Bick and Leslie, while well-drawn, aren’t engaging people. Leslie is too intellectual and arrogant, her husband too pragmatic and callous. It’s hard to care enough about them to keep reading. My advice: don’t bother.Giant Edna Ferber Doubleday, 1952 447 pages 1952 Bestseller #6 My Grade: D+
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