The Moonflower Vine
A timeless American classic rediscovered—an unforgettable saga of a heartland family
On a farm in western Missouri during the first half of the twentieth century, Matthew and Callie Soames create a life for themselves and raise four headstrong daughters. Jessica will break their hearts. Leonie will fall in love with the wrong man. Mary Jo will escape to New York. And wild...more
What is wrong with these people that they think it's okay to spoil the secrets? If I were you I wouldn't even read the Foreword by Jane Smiley. Better to go in without any preconceived ideas about what's coming.
It isn't until you are fini...more
The end of...more
Why this book ceased to hold the interest of readers is a mystery. I loved this book. It was reminiscent of Cold Sassy Tree or To Kill a Mockingbird, with its rural setting and cast of familial characters. The tale of the Soames family spans 60 years beginning at the turn of the 20th century. They...more
This I can understand, because how can you improve on perfection.
The Soames family saga in rural Western Missouri circa 1890-1950 is priceless in more than a few categories. Human psychology, geography, cycles of agriculture, farm mode in a time of no electricity or indoor plumbing, family dynamics and of course, economic class interchange. 5 star in every single one of those, and a 6 for the prose. The husband is a schoolteacher and...more
The writing is wonderful and fits the story perfectly. It reminded me of Rebecca West's The Fountain Overflows in the way it investigates the flaws of each family member. While it might feel old fashioned to a young woman reading it today, being set in the first half of the 20th century, I think Jetta Carleton...more
It made me stop to think about how each member of my family views the events that...more
I liked it even more the second time through and found that I'd mellowed towards some of the things that bothered me about the characters the first time. Really appreciated the writing - beautiful narrative, the author really brings us inside the characters, dialogue is well-placed. A book I'm sure to return to again.
I almost passed this one by because of the title, which brings to mind something sappy and "romantic" from, say, Nicholas Sparks.
This was a really good read, most...more
The story begins in summer in the 1950's as the adult children in the Soames family are visiting their parents, Matthew and Callie on their rural Missouri farm. The story begins as Mary Jo, the youngest of the four girls, tells of the annual visit to see their parents, which is both a reunion, and a sense of du...more
The novel is set in southwest Missouri in the early part of the 20th century. This is territory f...more
The story is told in turns by th...more
I liked this book, although I didn't love it. The father totally aggravated me ... his constant striving for something more, while it seems admirable on the surface, started revealing a dissatisfaction with his life ... including his wife and daughters. None of them really lived up to his desires. All were flawed to be sure, but none of them fatally so. Actually the best part of the book was the beginning, the description of a visit home by the no...more
I had read a review about the book and they loosely compared...more
There's a nice twist near the end that helps to explain some things; or perhaps it is more accurate to say that other explanations because possible within the world of this novel, and the painful condition of being human...more