Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Memory of Old Jack

I'm always looking for new and interesting things to read. At times I am a literature snob. I usually stay away from the latest fads in reading (I've not read Twilight, Dean Koontz, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, etc.) Even when I am reading YA novels for my students, I am always looking for and enjoying the ones that are complex and well written, not just a good story. So the other day when I was perusing my friend Jackie's blog and she mentioned having to put down a book because it was too poignant, I was intrigued.

After a brief internet search I had found Wendell Berry's website and had requested from my local library three Wendell Berry books. It has taken me a couple of weeks, but I pushed through The Memory of Old Jack by Wendell Berry. It is indeed incredibly poignant. From the description of the farming community to Old Jack's ties to his land, this book left me grieving for the lost agrarian culture of the 1800s and the loss and and hardship of the characters. I found the book hard to read, not because it was bad writing or a boring story, but because it was such complicated writing that held so much depth of meaning.

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