Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: The Quickening

"What I wanted felt like a hunger, rising from my ribs, my throat, starved for something immense, golden," writes Michelle Hoover in The Quickening.  Hoover's debut novel is a beautiful written book that follows the lives of Mary and Enidina who live on neighboring farms during the early 1900s.   As with most books I've read this year, this is a book with both tragedy and heartbreak.  Hoover's writing reminded me of Marilynne Robinson, but with grittier detail and a more character-driven story line.  

Hoover's narrative voice is distinctive and she writes with a subtle smolder.  Some of the sentences are crafted to perfection.  Nonetheless, if I were to recommend books about hardscrabble farm life, I would give Amy Greene's Bloodroot and Kent Haruf's Plainsong even higher praise.   

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