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Paperback A Place on Earth Book

ISBN: 0865470448

ISBN13: 9780865470446

A Place on Earth

(Part of the Port William Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Published in 1967, we return to Port William during the Second World War to revisit Jayber Crow, the barber, Uncle Stanley, the gravedigger, Jarrat and Burley, the sharecroppers, and Brother Preston,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

"A Place Called Earth"

Wendell Berry's wonderful and beautifully written novel brings us back to a beautiful place on earth, Port William. The time is 1945, and the backdrop is the ending of World War II, and how is affects the lives of the farmers and people of this little and beloved town. Here we see our friends from Berry's other novels about Port William: Jayber Crow, Hannah Coulter, Old Jack, Burley, Mat, and others we have come to love. We feel the poignancy and despair: we see the inadequacy of platitudes in the face of loss and grief. We also meet new characters whose lives are also incised by tragedy, such as a terrible flood. Through this, though, Berry also gives us hope, and at times, even humor, such as through the character of Uncle Stanley. We live with these character and we love them, and Berry's writing, simple and elegant, brings us closer to the experience of what it is to be human. His book evokes a great poem by jani johe webster, "a place called earth" (from her book "silhouette of a soul"): "if you live here/these space miles/from the moon/ a place called earth/ turn the page / make the music change from sorrow to harmony / let the geese come home / across the miles / the trees bud / into spring / and the day open itself." In Berry's novel, the geese do, in a sense come home again: the war ends and we celebrate with these characters. And the many of characters do change the music of their lives from sorrow to harmony: and we see the quiet heroism in their souls. Along with "Jayber Crow", "Hannah Coulter", and "The Memory of Old Jack," this is one of Berry's greatest and most sensitive works.

A Place of Loss and Hope

"A Place on Earth" is the second novel of the Port William Membership that I have read; the first being "Jayber Crow". Berry proves himself to be yet again a master storyteller with the power to weave prose into beautiful and sometimes elegaic poetry. "A Place on Earth" is an incredible tribute to the power of loss, love, family and community. Rather than focusing on one character, or one cohesive story, Berry chooses to tell about the daily life of various town members. Readers feel as though they are members of the community as well and have known these characters and their comings and goings for years. There are several main characters, such as the Feltner family, who have received news that their son is missing in action and must come to terms with the fact that he may never come home. Since Port William is a small town, the lives of every townperson is interweaved with that of their neighbors. Everyone knows everyone, and knows their joys and sufferings almost as immediately as they do. A long time fan of Berry's poetry, I have loved the discovery of these two novels, and look forward to reading the rest of the Port William stories. Wendell Berry paints his characters so vividly, and sometimes so heartbreakingly real, that we come away from the story shocked back into reality. Berry knows the true nature of loss, the grief that accompanies it, and the hope that can be found in the most hopeless situations. Through all the trials and tribulations of the town and its members, hope persistently prevades and will, in the end, erase the pain that has been caused.

A beautiful book

This is to me simply a beautiful novel. I was reading the reviews and found the one from the gentleman in Utah that gave it one star and just could not fathom his review. There is immense depth in the story and character development. It is a great novel and I'm going to read it again now. Worth every cent.

A novel of death & rebirth

This is a wonderful novel that delivers what I hope to find in fiction (but seldom do): wisdom. Berry offers no easy answers--instead, his stories deepen our sense of life's mystery.

A richly interwoven, moving, and thought provoking novel

A Place On Earth will constantly make you think about your connections to the land, your community, and to your closest loved ones. The way Wendell Berry poetically weaves together the characters in this novel is beautiful. The themes of belonging, respect, tolerance, and understanding are all elegantly and cleverly written throughout. The ideas of "a sense of place" and of community that come forth from this book are definitely something to strive for. Berry is a master - he makes you think. Definitely a book to savor and delight in. Try it, you'll like it! I also highly, highly recommend Berry's, "The Unsettling of America" for provocative thoughts and facts on community and agriculture.
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