So Big

by Edna Ferber | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by Ghost_Dog of Merrimack, New Hampshire USA on 9/14/2020
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Ghost_Dog from Merrimack, New Hampshire USA on Monday, September 14, 2020
From the back cover:

In this poignant and memorable novel, Edna Ferber tells the story of Selina Peake who at 19 came to teach school in High Prairie, Illinois.

Her marriage, the birth of her son, Dirk, her widowhood had transformed Selina from a delicate, young girl into a strong, exciting woman. To Selina, love of beauty was all important. Almost as important as her son, who betrayed every hope she had for him.

Few novels have probed so deeply into a mother's heart. When you read SO BIG, you will know why it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Journal Entry 2 by Ghost_Dog at Little Free Library, 646 DW Hwy in Merrimack, New Hampshire USA on Monday, September 14, 2020

Released 1 mo ago (9/14/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, 646 DW Hwy in Merrimack, New Hampshire USA

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Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, September 15, 2020
I found this book in the Little Free Library while dropping off some books of my own. (The LFL has been turned into a Little Free Pantry, it seems - lots of bags of dried beans and such.) I chose this book because I recently saw the 1932 film adaptation on TV, and was puzzled as I didn't recall ever hearing of book or film before, despite their apparent fame back in the day.

Later: Interesting, sometimes frustrating novel - in part because of the attitudes of the day, but also for the perhaps-a-bit-too-selfless attitudes of the main female characters (again, an attitude of the day, but one that irks me no end). That said, the first part of the book in which we meet Selina and see the open country from her viewpoint is my favorite; she even finds delight in the fields of cabbages:

"But always to her, red and green cabbages were to be jade and burgundy, chrysoprase and porphyry. Life has no weapons against a woman like that." Delicious! (And not merely because I love my own jade and burgundy garden...)

When her little son - the "How big are you? Sooooo big!" inspiration - grows up and becomes rather more materialistic and selfish than his mother would have liked, the book (which switches to his viewpoint) gets a bit harsher, especially when Selina has a chance at a new romance. Dirk may have learned some lessons, but it almost feels as if it's a bit too late... [In some ways the story reminded me of The Magnificent Ambersons, which also had a mother-son relationship at its core, complete with different values and a son disturbed by his mother's later-in-life romance - though the tones of the books are quite different.]

[There's a short TV Tropes page on the book and film.]

Released 3 wks ago (9/27/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, 205 Hartwell Ave. in Littleton, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the icebox-repurposed-as-LFL; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2020 Movie challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2020 Keep Them Moving challenge. ***

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