Author(s): Jane Smiley
The first instalment in the Pulitzer Prize-winner's masterpiece - a trilogy following one family over a hundred years
1920, Denby, Iowa: Rosanna and Walter Langdon have just welcomed their firstborn son, Frank, into their family farm. He will be the oldest of five.
Each chapter in this extraordinary novel covers a single year, encompassing the sweep of history as the Langdons abide by time-honored values and pass them on to their children. With the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change through the early 1950s, we watch as the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis. Later still, a girl we’d seen growing up now has a little girl of her own.
The first volume of an epic trilogy from a beloved writer at the height of her powers, Some Luck starts us on a literary adventure through cycles of birth and death, passion and betrayal that will span a century in America.
Long-listed for Folio Prize 2015.
National Book Award Nominee
A Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times, The Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage
"Intimate ...Miraculous ...Staggering ...A masterpiece in the making." - USA Today
“Ravishing. . . . Reminiscent of the work of Willa Cather and Alice Munro. . . . Captur[es] the arc of personal and historical change in forthright prose that unexpectedly takes flight.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Moving. . . . Bold. . . . Sweeping. . . . [An] old-fashioned tale of rural family life in changing times.” —The Washington Post
“[Smiley] seemingly writes the way her idol Dickens did—as easily as if it were breathing.” —The New York Times
“Audaciously delicious. . . . Impeccably drawn. . . . Every character here steals our heart. . . . We read these lives, and we find our own.” —Chicago Tribune
“Sweeping. . . . Set[s] the minor catastrophes and victories of the family’s life against a backdrop of historical change.’” —The New Yorker
“The good news? This is the first of a trilogy. The bad news? We have to wait for the next volume.” —Entertainment Weekly (A-)
“Smiley draws a convincing portrait of life on a farm in the early 20th century: the way lives were buffeted by weather, the way the work never ended and how, for kids, there was no such thing as spare time. . . . Smiley gives her trilogy the sweep of history.” —NPR
Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, as well as five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2006 she received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Her novel Horse Heaven was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and her latest novel, Private Life, was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the Washington Post. She lives in northern California.