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The Quickening

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The Quickening Cover

ISBN13: 9781590513460
ISBN10: 1590513460
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 some, like Eddie, who has never wanted more than the land she works and the animals she raises on it with her husband, Frank. But for the deeply religious Mary, farming is an awkward living and at odds with her more cosmopolitan inclinations. Still, Mary creates a clean and orderly home life for her stormy husband, Jack, and her sons, while she adapts to the isolation of a rural town through the inspiration of a local preacher. She is the first to befriend Eddie in a relationship that will prove as rugged as the ground they walk on.  Despite having little in common, Eddie and Mary need one another for survival and companionship. But as the Great Depression threatens, the delicate balance of their reliance on one another tips, pitting neighbor against neighbor, exposing the dark secrets they hide from one another, and triggering a series of disquieting events that threaten to unravel not only their friendship but their families as well.

In this luminous and unforgettable debut, Michelle Hoover explores the polarization of the human soul in times of hardship and the instinctual drive for self-preservation by whatever means necessary. The Quickening stands as a novel of lyrical precision and historical consequence, reflecting the resilience and sacrifices required even now in our modern troubled times.

Synopsis:

In this luminous and unforgettable debut, Hoover explores the polarization of the human soul in times of hardship and the instinctual drive for self-preservation by whatever means necessary.

Synopsis:

Together my sons stood with the sow between them and watched their father

stagger home, going slow, unable to get his footing. The rain hissed and grew,

making rivers in the mud, and my sons squinted under their hats and tried to

find their father through the storm.

   But none of us could see him now. That was the way he went, walking off

through the mud, the last I saw of the man I married, the man I knew—he

would always be gone after that, a man of fog and temper, he would never come

back, not for the six more years that I would live with him and scrub his shirts

and cook his meals. Those Currents had trapped him. They had promised they

would do what they should and sent him off to have to finish it, coming home

with stains so dark on his sleeves that I had to turn that shirt to rags. After he

walked off in that rain, you could no longer say we were husband and wife—we

were little more than strangers. Later when the body of that man went, his passing

was quick, without a shiver, without absolution. I found him again in our

bed, stiff and cold where I woke in the morning next to him, clutching the blanket.

Still nothing more than a stone sat inside my chest, because my husband had

already disappeared from me years ago in that storm.

Video

About the Author

Michelle Hoover teaches writing at Boston University and Grub Street and has published fiction in Confrontation, The Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, and Best New American Voices, among others. She has been a Bread Loaf Writer Conference scholar, the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell fellow, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and in 2005 the winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award for Fiction. She was born in Ames, Iowa, the granddaughter of four longtime farming families.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

McGuffy Ann, June 8, 2011 (view all comments by McGuffy Ann)
The Quickening is a very special novel. Painfully told, it records the lives and friendship of two farm women in early 1900s Iowa. The chapters alternate between the voice of Enidina (Eddie) and Mary, who are very different women. Eddie is strong in body and spirit, made for country farm life. Mary is delicate and at odds with farming and the isolation of rural living.

They form a friendship, a bond born of necessity rather than choice. Through the years with its many life changes they remain loyal to each other. The dependence brought by isolation is their constant bond.

As the Great Depression looms, affecting farming and the community, families come under pressure and friendships are tested. Ultimately, secrets are exposed and a series of events changes everything with lasting consequences for everyone.

Michelle Hoover gives an honest look at women’s friendships born of need and strife. Her portrayal of farming and the harsh realities of it, particularly those in times of turmoil are honest and heartfelt.

This is a remarkable book by a very gifted writer.

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Denise Morland, September 1, 2010 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
The Quickening is the story of two midwestern farm wives during the Great Depression. Enidina and Mary are neighbors in an area where neighbors are hard to come by. Though they have little in common, they forge an uneasy friendship out of their proximity. The book is all about their relationships with each other, with their husbands, and eventually between their children. The Quickening highlights the harsh realities and bleakness of living on a farm in this period and shows both the nobility and the desperate greediness that can come from not having enough.

I found The Quickening to be well written almost to a fault. I certainly felt that I was in The Depression, tired, dusty, and struggling just to survive. I can't say I actually enjoyed listening to this book, but I don't think the author was after enjoyment for her readers. It is an interesting character study on how different people respond to hardship.

I listened to this book on the audio version, read by Carrington MacDuffie. She does a really nice job distinguishing between the voices of the two women, even giving Enidina a slight accent. The gruffness of Mary's voice surprised me at first, but came to fit her well as I learned more of her character.
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781590513460
Author:
Hoover, Michelle
Publisher:
Other Press (NY)
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Farm life
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.18x5.56x.70 in. .57 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Quickening Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Other Press - English 9781590513460 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this luminous and unforgettable debut, Hoover explores the polarization of the human soul in times of hardship and the instinctual drive for self-preservation by whatever means necessary.
"Synopsis" by , Together my sons stood with the sow between them and watched their father

stagger home, going slow, unable to get his footing. The rain hissed and grew,

making rivers in the mud, and my sons squinted under their hats and tried to

find their father through the storm.

   But none of us could see him now. That was the way he went, walking off

through the mud, the last I saw of the man I married, the man I knew—he

would always be gone after that, a man of fog and temper, he would never come

back, not for the six more years that I would live with him and scrub his shirts

and cook his meals. Those Currents had trapped him. They had promised they

would do what they should and sent him off to have to finish it, coming home

with stains so dark on his sleeves that I had to turn that shirt to rags. After he

walked off in that rain, you could no longer say we were husband and wife—we

were little more than strangers. Later when the body of that man went, his passing

was quick, without a shiver, without absolution. I found him again in our

bed, stiff and cold where I woke in the morning next to him, clutching the blanket.

Still nothing more than a stone sat inside my chest, because my husband had

already disappeared from me years ago in that storm.

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