Story line: 10
Character Development: 9
I really enjoyed the story, it's told from a narrative of a boy that is 6 years old growing up on a cotton farm in 1952. The story is being retold as the boy is an adult although no present tense references are made... A 7 year old would not have the communication skills to convey this story as it was told...
Very intense at times can be played in front of the children no touchy subjects or language.... The ending was really a surprise. It just ends, I kept waiting for an epilog, but none came... Just kinda leaves you hanging, I don't believe enough story is left for a squeal so I give it low marks on plot, and length...
The characters are very real, it almost seems as if I knew them personally at the end of the book.
When John Grisham spoke at my graduation from Arkansas State University, I felt a bit guilty for not having read any of his works. The truth is though that I am not a huge fan of fiction. As a historian, I find the truth to be much more interesting then anything which can be imagined. This book beckoned me though as it takes place in the state where I grew up. It was very entertaining to listen to Lucas' story of life in the cotton. One of my friends, a good bit older then myself, responded to my inquiry on whether he had read this book with, "I remember being one of the hill people." It's a simple, sweet, and warm little story about the rough but honest life that some folks in Arkansas still live. You can find this kind of poverty still if you go farther south into the delta. I'm not much on Lawyer stories but I think Mr. Grisham hit a home run with this one. Iwonder if it was a St. Louis Cardinals homerun.
than my own reading would be.
I am biased against 1st person point-of-view (thanks to the New Adult genre). But this book reminds me how great 1st person can be. And I can’t imagine this story done any other way. This is 1st person Luke. He is seven-years-old. He is always sneaking around and listening to things and seeing things he’s not supposed to. It was exciting. And then he’s got all these secrets. He doesn’t want to keep secrets but he has to. I enjoyed Luke’s thoughts and dialogue. His family is dirt poor but he’s happy. Luke finds joy in daydreams about baseball and getting a St. Louis Cardinals jacket. Luke feels lucky when he compares his life to sharecroppers who have no screens, no fan, and no electricity to listen to the baseball games on the radio. Their kids have no shoes.
I consider John Grisham the king of character development, and this book is full of it. Here’s an example: A poor family buys groceries on credit. Little boy signs the account book at the store for something he is buying. The store lady looks at it and says “Coming along.” She meant his handwriting was improving. I thought she was going to say something negative.
I smiled and enjoyed so many things during this book. At the end I cried, but it wasn’t a depressing cry. It was more about good things people do for others - or do for the principle of the thing. There was a very moving idea at the end – that no matter how dire your circumstances, someone else is worse off and would love to be in your shoes. I was also happy about Luke and his parents starting something new that was going to be good.
Some readers complained that some of the story lines were not finished at the end. I was ok with that. Sure I would have loved to keep going or have a sequel. But that was because the stories were good and I didn’t want to stop.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Luke’s family owns a cotton farm. The story begins in September as they hire a group of Mexicans and a family from the hills to help pick cotton. The Mexicans stay in the barn. The family camps in the yard. The story takes place over the next two months as these characters interact and pick cotton. They play baseball. Some local bullies fight. A carnival comes to town. There’s a mystery about a pregnant teen girl.
David Lansbury’s young boy voice and emotional interpretations were fabulous.
Narrative mode: 1st person Luke.
This is a story about a family trying to eke out a living raising cotton in rural 1952 Arkansas as told from the perspective of the seven year old son. It's a good story, capably read. After some of the stuff he's turned in lately, it's nice to go back and be reminded how good Grisham once was.
Grisham does a tremendous job capturing the world of a 7-year old boy in rural Arkansas for the reader as vividly as if you were there. Excellent plot/setting, well narrated too.
Not your typical Grisham book in terms of subject matter, but the quality of his writing is constant throughout.
I write my reviews under my wife Karen's account. Retired USN Russian linguist/analyst; actor; director; producer. Biography & History focus
Grisham has lately been diverging from the fare that made him famous and this work is a prime example of the problems he faces in so doing. While the narrative is interesting and, in places compelling, the characters are not as completely developed as in his courtroom dramas. While I found this an "interesting" read, I did not find it an "enjoyable" read. The narrative wanders a bit too much and I found myself drifting off and thinking about what I would fix for dinner! Recommended - but not highly so.
While I enjoyed the story line and story telling of Mr.Grishams book (of the normal for him) I felt to be unrealistic as being told from a 7 year old point of view. Meaning how could a 7 year old have such thought of lust for a 17 year old women? I also felt it ended a little abruptly, I wanted to know, did the house get finished, did his father get a job, did his brother come home from Korea and so on.
I am a big Grisham fan and I did enjoy the story, but the reader had a little too mush "air" in his voice and I found it hard to get used to.
Grisham is a "details" writer and is very good at that. Especially in this book. Several twists and turns made segments of the book great but this particular book was a looonnng listen. I found myself wanting to fast forward to get to the end as several areas dragged by. As Grisham goes, I'd say this is not his best work. Probably the abridged edition goes at a better clip. I did enjoy Grisham's use of the 7-year old's perspective to tell the story of a rural Arkansas cotton farming family.
That is was audible and I could listen in my car and at home.
Absolutely fantastic - made me feel if I was there