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Paperback The Quickening Book

ISBN: 1590513460

ISBN13: 9781590513460

The Quickening

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

A July 2010 Indie Next Pick Enidina Current and Mary Morrow live on neighboring farms in the flat, hard country of the upper Midwest during the early 1900s. This hardscrabble life comes easily to... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Prestigious Award Worthy Debut

The lives and loves of two women come full circle in this tale of truth and deception, beauty and hardship. Words never spoken, regrets not revealed, complete in the telling and fused in a sense of place, Ms. Hoover has crafted a masterpiece rich as the fertile Iowa soil of its origin. I will not soon forget this Pen/Faulkner, even Pulitzer Prize worthy effort.

Wonderful book from a fresh voice

This is such a wonderful book, so sparely written, and so convincing. I couldn't put it down because I could feel everything Michelle Hoover was writing about. I loved the hard Iowa landscape and how occasionally the landscape, like the people who occupied it, sometimes yielded. Mary and Enidina are characters I loved, no matter what they did or did not do in the novel. I felt for these women as ancestors in my family were often alone on farms in rural Wisconsin. Overall, a stunning little book.

It entertained from start to finish

I was caught up in this book from the first page to the last. Eddie and Mary, so different from each other, neighbors but not friends. Mary seems eaten with jealousy of Eddie, a large woman whose husband loves her. Mary, by contrast, is regularly beaten by Jack, her husband. She cannot see that he is imperfect so she convinces herself that she loves him no matter what. Eddie faces life's worst trials and Mary doesn't do much to make it easier. She faults Eddie for a tragic occurrence and browbeats the local preacher into letting her harass Eddie's family into leaving their farm. The sadness and helplessness that Eddie endures touched me. She asks for no pity but is adamant in her anger at Mary. I wish this book had been twice as long. I wasn't ready to leave Eddie before she could triumph over Mary. I've found a new author to read. Read it and savor the words she uses. I can't wait for her next book.

Holding up a Mirror

I don't think I'd ever truly understood the saying "there are two sides to every story" until reading this book. Hoover exposes us all in this painfully bleak Depression-era novel. It's almost excruciating to see ourselves in both Enidina and Mary, but there we are, stubborn, lonely, manipulative, wanting, resigned. She manages to create sympathy for a completely unsympathetic character (Mary, in my opinion), which is nothing short of masterful. The Quickening hurts, in the way simply being alive can. Books this well-written are rare these days.

A stunner! Begs for a reread!

"The Quickening," Michelle Hoover's debut novel, is absolutely stunning, a unique and tragic and heartbreaking story, told in the alternating voices of Enidina and Mary, "neighbors," if you will, on adjoining farms in the Midwest, the actual location never named, but, no matter; from the start, the year 1915, and to the end, l950, the reader is introduced to these two women and the reluctant relationship the one forms with the other. Enidina, keeping a journal that might one day enlighten a grandson she has never known, a grandson who might not even have survived his birth but for whom she "searches" in the faces of children of his approximate age, details her story, through the author's hand, portraying a life of hardship, personal sacrifice, the intense labor of making a go of something in the farmlands of the Midwest. On finishing the book, I looked back to find a few lines that struck me in particular, when Enidina writes, "My boy, you may not understand how awful this waiting (for the birth of a child) was. In those years, you never could be sure of a child, no matter how soon in coming. And you never took for granted what a birth might cost the mother herself." In gorgeous story-telling and drawing on a journal kept by her own great-grandmother, Michelle brings to life a time and a place, and peoples the landscape with such memorable characters. Today it's easy to lose sight, with all we have, with all we take for granted, of just how difficult it was, beginning a life with little and working so hard to make a life of some profit and comfort. The setbacks, the heartbreak, those rarer moments of joy...they are all here for the reader to not so much "enjoy" but to learn from. I wonder...could there be a prequel or a sequel, somehow, for, in typing this review, I'm reluctant to let it all go. You've provided a remarkable reading experience for us, Michelle Hoover. I, for one, look forward to what comes next.
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