Doomsday: Heritage and modernity at war and in love

Ex-soldier Arnold Furze has spent five years trying to bring Doomsday, a hillside farm, back to productivity. Arnold falls for the pretty daughter of one of his milk customers in the cheap residential development below his farm. Doomsday by Warwick Deeping Alfred A Knopf, 1927, 367 pp. 1927Bestseller #3 My grade B+. Mary Viner is […]

A Daughter of the Land is flawed, heroic feminist

Gene Stratton-Porter was not only a prolific author, but a prolific author of bestselling novels. A Daughter of the Land is better than any of her others. A Daughter of the Land by Gene Stratton-Porter 1918 bestseller #9. Project Gutenberg ebook #3722. My grade: B+. The novel is about Kate Bates, youngest of 16 children […]

Now In November is beautiful and enduring

Now in November was Josephine Winslow Johnson’s first novel. Although it didn’t become a popular bestseller, critics showered praise on the book and its author. The year following its publication, the Pulitzer committee awarded Johnson its 1935 prize for best novel, a rare achievement for a writer’s first novel. Now in November by Josephine W. […]

So Big, a Cameo for Motherhood

Edna Ferber’s So Big is a gentle, thoughtful novel peopled with believable characters and edged in tears. Selina Peake grew up wherever her father’s profession—gambling—took them. Life was an adventure to her father. He told Selina to relax and enjoy it: ‘The more kinds of people you see, and the more things you do, and […]

Lamb in His Bosom Is Warm in Hard Times

Caroline Miller’s Lamb in His Bosom is a tale of women in the Georgia-Florida woods country in the 1800s when time was measured in tombstones.  These women endured incredible hardship to raise families. Cean Carver is a pretty 16-year-old when she marries Lonzo Smith and moves to the farm he’s clearing for the family they […]

Funny Literal Kids Make Laddie Sparkle

Laddie is the pride and joy of the Stanton family and hero to his youngest sister, who tells his story. When Laddie asks Little Sister to deliver a letter to a Princess in the big wood, she discovers Laddie has fallen for a English lovely girl just moved to the neighborhood. Little Sister approves of […]

As the Earth Turns, it’s on axis of farm family

As The Earth Turns is a homely novel: a picture of a year in the life of a Maine farm family in the early years of the Great Depression. The Shaws are a next-century version of the Ingalls and Wilder families profiled in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books: solid, hardworking, reliable. Mark Shaw has […]