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OK –This is a fiction book but based on the author’s knowledge and experiences.
What’s it about? – This is the story of s family living in Texas, USA, at the time of the Great Depression (1930-1945). This was a time of huge economic downturn, when unemployment was very high, and many people lived in poverty, travelling around desperately seeking work, shelter and food.
What can you say about the story telling? - This story is told in the first person through the eyes of Wesley –‘Wes’ – aged 10. He lives with his Mama, Daddy and brother Les aged 8. They live modestly, working on their land, growing melons, pumpkins and corn, and Mama keeps turkeys to sell off every Christmas. I had a lot of respect for this family, who were kind, law abiding and generous. They coped with the arrival of the Wanderers with great stoicism, as they must have been worried enough for themselves.
The voice of the story is quite childlike, in keeping with the storytelling of a 10 year old. It is also often amusing. I felt Wes’s pain with the school bully for example, and loved the feisty description of the fight between Old Red and the gobbler!
What did you think of the characterisation? - Wes tells the story. Mama features prominently and is very loving, and capable. Mama and Daddy have a great partnership. They provide good role models for their children. The other characters were all beautifully written, such as Cousin B.J, Little John, James Russell and Bonnie Dee. I could picture these characters with ease in my mind.
What was good about reading this book? – I found this book very easy to read and highly entertaining. There were a lot of family events during the book, as the year progressed and the family enjoyed special meals together, picnics and even a trip to the circus. I didn’t know anything about the great depression, and learned a lot about what it must have been like. I liked the gentle humour.
What didn’t you like? - There was nothing I didn’t like about the book.
How did reading the book make you feel? – This was a lovely tale about family life, about families sticking together in the face of adversity. It was about love, kindness, decency – all very important values. It was also about honesty. Just when you though the chips were down – something happened in the book for the better, Life is like that – it’s all about luck and adversity!
Would you recommend this book? – Yes I would recommend this book as great relaxing entertainment for those who like a humorous family tale – with a twist!
How many Daisies for overall readability and enjoyment?