Friday, February 15, 2008
The Town (as part of The Awakening Land trilogy) by Conrad Richter, 1951
Originally, I intended to read only "The Town" because it was the Pulitzer Fiction winner for 1951, but I discovered it was the third installment of a trilogy, so I decided to read the "set," and I am glad I did. Another reviewer compared The Awakening Land to Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" series, and in a very simple way, it is similar primarily for the "cabin in the woods" setting, particularly in Volume I "The Trees." However, Richter's works go beyond the pioneer spirit which is the central theme of Sayward "Saird" Luckett Wheeler the main character of the three novels. The plot is an engaging weave of history, the "simple life of yesteryear" and the generational changes in family and societal attitudes. In this piece of fiction, as I have found in other Pulitzer fiction winners, although the subject matter and writing style may be quaint (or antiquated) basic human (American) attitudes and challenges haven't changed and the lessons to be learned remain the same.