I’ve been meaning to read this one for the past few months, since my daughter had to read it for school, but I have been unable to keep up with her reading (as her speed has increased and my duty as a reading mother has gotten a little out of hand). When we chatted about it, I told her that I remember it being sad. And beautiful. Or maybe I said, “well-written,” but “sad and beautiful” would have been more accurate.
It’s a classic, and it deserves to be. It is billed as a children’s book, but that seems a little weird to me. I think it’s an Everyone book, but I suppose the bookstore doesn’t have that sort of section. “Family.” That might do it. I just think that anyone from middle grades up through senior citizens stand a fair chance at enjoying this book.
It is sad, and I’m not necessarily referring to the ending. The book is–as I said about Ethan Frome–atmospheric, and part of that bright, deeply natural, lazy, antiquated atmosphere is the sadness. There’s just something about the way the place is portrayed. Any yet, if you read the book a certain way, it is still hopeful.
Not familiar with it? It’s a book which sort of covers around 200 years, through the 1800s and 1900s, but it is really about a few days which are most sharpened, in the middle of that time. It’s about an isolated girl whose life intersects with a small, isolated family. The family claims immortality, and not all is happy about it, either. When I was a kid, it made me think about the repercussions of immortality. As an adult, I more just enjoyed the literary ride, thinking more about choice and the finity of our earth-bound lives.
You could read this book without really surrendering to it, but that would be a mistake. Even just the language makes it worth the read, but there is so much more there. Certainly, it’s a great one for study, as well as enjoyment. And it’s suspenseful enough to keep those pages turning.
Big ol’ recommend. Even if my daughter was far from loving it.