Shirley Ann Grau is a major American author whose works are often set in New Orleans and Louisiana's Creole region. She often reflects the isolated bayous and their French-speaking residents, but her fiction is equally at home with the fiercely independent people of small Southern towns or the sophisticated life of the New Orleans' upper class. The Keepers of the House won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1965.
©1964 Shirley Ann Grau; (P)1996 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Shirley Ann Grau is one of those rare writers who create a world, draw the reader into it, and make him somehow happy there, no matter what goes on....One comes to the novel's end with a sense of loss, and leaves that world with reluctance." (Newsweek)
Once at the end, the entire story made sense and turned out to be very good. The description of the scenery is so long that the effect on the character is lost and become very boring, especially on Margaret. After Margaret, the rest was interesting that I had wished the author had written a bit more of Margaret instead of ending her the first night she come to live with William Howland. There were certain instance where I did not understand Abigail's point of view. The explanations were brief and vague. I gave the book a five star because I thought the narrator had the perfect voice for this story.
I wanted to read this novel for two reasons: it won the Pulitzer the year of my birth, and it's set in a fictional county in the deep American South during a time of racial hatred and violence. I'm sure THE KEEPERS OF THE HOUSE had quite an impact back then and the nation's posture at the time screamed for the Pulitzer to give an award to Ms. Grau for this book.
I was rather disappointed nonetheless. The novel is righteous at achieving the revenge which is its ultimate destination. Yet the revenge only occurs in the last 17 minutes, after taking 9 hours to get there; a long, long 9 hours in which I kept reaching for the stop button and had to force myself to continue listening. The characters are rather shallow, and it seems to me that Ms. Grau could have condensed the 9 hours to 4 or 5, by cutting out fluff that did nothing to further the protagonist or her story.
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
This book sounded interesting in the short summary. I usually like stories that span several generations. The book is not terribly complicated, just a bit more than many multi generation books. The book starts in the past with a love affair between Margaret,a black woman, and William, a lonely widower. All of the children have typically white characteristics.The children from Providence, the first wife, and the children from Margaret play together as young children. Bit Margaret sends her children to boarding school so they won't have do deal with being born from a black mother and white father. The children grow up, get married, have children of their own but they are unaware of deeply the past, that was hidden from them as children, will come back to haunt them and the choices they make as adults.
The narrator was easy to listen to although at times the narration was monotonous and the edits were obvious. In my opinion a book about the south should have a narrator with a southern accent.
It was a treat for the senses. An engrossing and artfully told story. The narrator perfectly conveyed the subtle nuances of the characters and situations. The writing is of a quality that is seldom seen in current fiction. Crisp efficient, very descriptive, and engaging. The story flows effortlessly drawing the listener back to another time and place.
Her ability to convey the tone and substance of the story was remarkable. Flawless performance.
Abigail, her strength and straightforward candor would be a breath of fresh air.
I thought the author would give the protagonist a more compassionate viewpoint toward oppressed people. But she seemed cold and close minded.
So real. I grew up in The South and miss it. This book evokes the reality of Southern culture perfectly with every nuance. Makes me homesick with love and yearning along with reminders of why I left
If this question means if I had the choice to make over again, yes, absolutely, and I intend to explore Grau's other works. If the question means WILL I listen to it again, no, probably not, because I rarely do... too many books and life is too short. But if I had to list books I would listen to again, this might well be one.
I enjoyed the slow, steady buildup. The author was careful in her use of foreshadowing... You know from the opening chapter that something cataclysmic is going to happen, but then the simple, enjoyable unfolding of what seems to be a straightforward tale lulls you into nearly forgetting. Just a spare hint dropped here and there throughout reminds you that there are debts to be settled.
Abigail Howland Tolliver, although her grandfather is a close second. I would like to say Margaret, but the mystery in which Grau wraps her makes that impossible.
Two: Abigail the granddaughter, and Margaret. You are able to know Abigail thoroughly, outside and in, by the last chapter. Margaret, though, is memorable for her enigmatic stoicism. We see her capacity for love only briefly, as Abigail glimpses it once through a child's eyes.
With this book I realized for the first time what an exceptional narrator Anna Fields is. I have enjoyed her narration before without being fully aware of how much her performance adds to the totality of the work. I will now seek her out.
What an amazing story and beautiful narration. Completely captures a time and place. This book won the Pulitzer prize in 1965. Stunning descriptions of the south, civil rights, the changing of family values and norms. Absolutely a must-listen.
WOW! I don't know how I have missed this Pulitzer prize winner. It reminds me of The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, Fried Green Tomatoes and Gone With the Wind all at once. It has elements of racism, society in the 1960's small Southern town, forbidden love, oppression of women. The characters are unforgettable, very well developed. I have known a few people like those in the book. Do they exist only in the South? Why the story about the moonshine still? How did William feel about women? What does Margaret think about anything? And how about all the ancestral spirits? Please, Audible, get some more books by Mrs. Grau.
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