The School on Heart's Content Road (Heart's Content #1)
occasionally, when i was reading this one, i was thinking of when angels rest, which is the closest harington ever came to writing a "war novel." in that one, WWII is brought close to home as the children of stay more, already engaging in "war games" in ...more
[UPDATE} So I finally finished The School on Heart's Content Road this weekend and it did indeed turn out to be one of the best books I have read in a while.
The book describes the St Onge. Settlement - a commune led by their "prophet" Gordie St. Onge and his wives and the people of rural Maine who come into contact with them (a right-of-center Militia leader Rex York; Mickey Gammon, a local teenager forced to leave ho ...more
Back in the 1980's I read Chute's The Beans of Egypt, Maine and loved it, so I was really looking forward to reading this one. However, at page 120 the author is still introducing characters and literally nothing has happened in terms of a story: wait. That's not entirely true. The militia has shot s ...more
Carolyn Chute's sympathetic portrayals of the rural poor evoked comparisons to Faulkner, Steinbeck, and Upton Sinclair. Yet despite her strong main characters and keen insights, critics varied in their reactions: some felt overwhelmed by Chute's pervasive antiestablishment views, while others embraced, or were at least able to overlook, her polemics. Chute's unconventional language, profusion of characters (although she does provide a full character list), and multiple narrators
It's not always an indication -- because sometimes life gets in the way -- but you can often tell how much I like a book by how quickly I plow through it. I inched through School on Heart's Content Road for more than two weeks, an eternity for a reader like me.
I had no idea what the book was going to be about. I'd seen a ...more
As the School on Heart's Content Road sucks in people (mostly women) who have been met with unfortunate circumstances to mate and propagate with the compound's leader, they build together a community separate from the greater world. Many of the concepts of the community ring out the trends of the early 21st century - sustainable farming, renewable energy, the importance of education. ...more
Chute has a deft hand for her characters, and for description -- some of which are absolutely breathtaking. Take this line, for instance: "Late-afternoon sun, autumnly and solid and cold as a refrigerated peach, roams entirely to the other ...more
This story about The Settlement (a kind of commune in Maine) is more likeable than the Bean stories.
Gordon St. Onge is the leader, but a gentle one, and his family makes furniture, candles, solar powered vehicles, you name it. It's the weirdest cross between going back to the l ...more
I picked it up for 95 cents at a thrift store. I had read her earlier book .... I think it's called The Beans of Egypt Maine (?). anyway, I read it years, possibly decades, ago. I thought I'd enjoyed it back then.
•Chute has some very clever wording and sentence structure strategies
•It's just not interesting to me. :(
• I'll need to file this one on the "didn't finish" shelf. I thought it was ME, but Naw....I just can't get into this book. period.
her wr ...more
It dragged a little in the last quarter as Chute allows her Prophet to speak his mind without constraint and my favorite characters, the six-year-old Jane and the fifteen-year-old Mickey fall silent for a dozen pages or more. The climax wasn't what I expected it to be, but that may not be a failure, it may be Chute's point.
For the m ...more
Chute uses a gimmick to tell the story. Icons are used to represent different points of ...more
However, I did start reading this in the midst of major gardening activity so perhaps I wasn't devoting as much time as I should have. If I ever get into a Chute reread (which I often do with favorite authors) perhaps I'll see it diffe ...more
Chute also speaks out publicly about class issues in America and publishes "The Fringe," a monthly collection of in-d ...more