Enjoyable book. I always like a rural setting and this one is unique in it's chapter-a-year device. Simple storytelling well done with no unnecessary smut. A welcome change.
It is a book that needs to be read over a few days. I put it down about 3/4 of the way through for a vacation and when I returned found it hard to recall all of the various characters. Also thought it was a bit choppy at the end. Not sure I will read the rest of the series.
I'm a Jane Smiley fan and I read this trilogy out of order - 2 then 3 and now 1. I have loved them all. They are not fast paced, but they are tender and wise and the characters stay with you for a long time.
The soft spoken, hard working story of a Norwegian immigrant family. Each chapter advances the story by a year.
For me, reading the episodic SOME LUCK about an ordinary Iowa family (circa 1920-1953) was as compelling as watching paint dry. A family saga told via a chapter for every year in their lives and from their different perspectives are intriguing ideas, but were not enough to keep my interest. I managed to finish it, but won’t be rushing out to read the subsequent books in this series.
I should have liked this. A family saga spanning the years from 1920 to 1953 (each year one short chapter.) But as Smiley really focused on just a few of the large Langdon family, every time she mentioned one of the others, I was flipping back to the family tree. And, as none of the characters were fully explored I found I really didn't care. I thought this book would never end.
Didn't like it so stopped reading.
Great story-telling with compelling, well-wrought characters. The author successfully gets inside the psyches of children --- of all ages! Never seen that in my nearly 60 years of reading great literature. I must fault her, though, for using modern idiomatic phrases in early 20th century rural settings. Like, "There you go" and "Yeah, but here's the thing . . . ". Another thing that was apparent to me was the author's gradually finding her voice and slowly coloring in her characters, in the first part of the novel. Once confidence is established, the characters suddenly appear vivid, as if in a fully realized painting --- and off you go into a fabulous story, a page-turning, hard to put down novel. Loved it.
'The trilogy begins on a family farm in 1920. A young couple, Walter and Rosanna Langdon, are just setting out on their own. Eventually they will have five children. The oldest, Frank, is what Smiley calls "the trunk of the tree" — smart, handsome and restless. But Smiley gives each of the Langdon children a turn in the spotlight, filling in the details of their lives and drawing the reader into a story meant to last a long time. "I wanted to watch the characters in the book from birth to, in some cases, death," she says. "And I wanted to watch their lives develop. And so I got them born and I set them on their paths, and they had to find mates and find lives."' --From Lynn Neary at NPR
I can hardly wait for the next two books. Wow. Maybe it’s the farm girl in me or my interest in family history, but this will, without a doubt, be a top read of the year for me. Loved her one-chapter-per-year storytelling and her writing from all the characters points of view, even the toddlers!
A very "comfortable" and enjoyable read. I thoroughly enjoyed following this family and became emeotionally tied to all the characters.
I eagerly await the rest of this proposed trilogy.
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