Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and widely considered to be Edna Ferber's greatest achievement, "So Big" is a classic novel of turn-of-the-century Chicago. It is the unforgettable story of Selina Peake DeJong, a gambler's daughter, and her struggles to stay afloat and maintain her dignity and her sanity in the face of marriage, widowhood, and single parenthood. A brilliant l...more
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Dude. That is going to change.
I am going to start by recommending it to everyone I know (Andrew's mom is reading it next, then Andrew) and then I am going to recommend it to customers.
It's about Selina DeJong, a gambler's daughter-turned schoolteacher in a dutch village just outside of Chicago. It is definetely interesting to think that there was so much farmland in Selina's day, where now it's ...more
So Big was Edna Ferber’s Pulitzer Prize winning book from 1924. Despite the accolades I didn’t know what to think going into it. For one, I imagined the language would seem a little dainty and old-fashioned. For another, it was mostly set on a vegetable farm – not exactly promising. The first few pages scared me, to ...more
"So Big" is a great story about a young woman who grows up in various American cities, only to be disillusioned with what life "should be" after getting married to a poor Dutch farmer and toiling in the fields. But it's not just that: It's about believing that life is a grand adventure, "so much velvet." And then going out to find that, to be that person you ...more
Note: I read this book in 2011 and again in 2012. The first time it was a resounding 5 stars for me. The second time I'd probably give it closer to 4. It was still a great book but I saw more of the fl ...more
So Big, written in 1924, was her first big hit, winning her a Pulitzer Prize. It's the story of Selina DeJong, daughter of a Chicago gambler, who was given the best of education when times were goo ...more
I just found on the internet that this novel, So Big, was inspired by the life of Antje Paarlberg, who lived in a Chicago suburb, a Dutch community of South Holland. Oh, to think there was a “real” Selina makes this story even more beautiful than it already is.
The name of this novel, So Big, is the nickname of Dirk DeJong given by his mother Selina Peake DeJong when he was very young. It was part of ...more
In the late 1800s Selina Peake leaves Chicago, where she grew up as a gambler's daughter, to take a teaching position in a outlying Dutch farming community. On the way from the train station to her new home she marvels at the beauty of the red and green cabbages in the fields, a moment that resonates throughout the novel.
Selina marries a farmer, has a son (Dirk), and then becomes a successful farmer and businesswoman in her own right. The reader wat ...more
Wow! That was a good book!
More specifically: An amazing story of a growing America, of beauty and of the value of, well, valuing one's true self.
But while So Big had degree of these qualities, it was also a really great read. The characters are developed well and after a slightly slow beginning, the action flows at a fast pace.
In addition, the novel does a wonderful job at describing Chicago in the early part of the 20th century along with ...more
This is such a hard book to review and rate. I loved the first half that mainly focused on the mother, and her attempts at building a new life and home in the farmlands outside of Chicago. I wanted to qu ...more
I think about th ...more
This book, the story of Selina DeJong, a gambler's daughter turned country schoolteacher turned farmer's wife in turn of the century Chicago, is full of all the standard fare of "the American Experience," rendered with amazing detail and talent. There is the struggle of the farmer, the growth of cities and th ...more
Selina knows what's up. She was raised by her imperfect single father to know about theater, gambling, travel, and other life adventures, and to reject the stuff ...more
Selina was only nineteen at the time in 1888 and she surprises her friends when she decides not to go to Vermont and live with her two aunts. Instead, she shows her independence and determination to succeed on her own. She gets a job as a teacher at the Dutch school in High Plains, ten miles outside of Chicago.
At her first social event, she makes a picnic lunch that will be auctioned off. Men bid on the bas ...more
Edna Ferber never wanted to be an author. She wrote the book upon which "Show Boat" was based. Two of her novels were made into major motion pictures. She writes of slices of early American life.
I enjoyed Selina's story more than that of her son, Dirk ("So Big"). I found it ...more