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The Fields (The Awakening Land #2)

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  732 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Conrad Richter's trilogy of novels The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), and The Town (1950) trace the transformation of Ohio from wilderness to farmland to the site of modern industrial civilization, all in the lifetime of one character.

The Fields continues the saga of the Luckett family that began in The Trees. In The Fields, the oldest daughter, Sayward, has begun the l
...more
Paperback, 169 pages
Published May 1st 1991 by Ohio University Press (first published 1946)
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
The Fields is the second book in the Awakening Land Trilogy. Richter received the Pulitzer Prize for The Town, the third book of the trilogy about American pioneers, and according to the short biography in the back, the first book, The Trees, was the one he "felt was most alive." This is the middle book, and I'd rate it only a smidgin below the first. It's mostly told through the point of view of Sayward Luckett, who was fifteen years old when she came to the Northwest Territory with her family. ...more
Cheryl
Jun 08, 2009 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
These 3 books (The Trees, The Fields, & The Town) are collectively known as The Awakening Land Series. They give an accurate view of what life was like for pioneers settling into N. America, specifically migrating from Pennsylvania to the wild unsettled area of what is now Ohio. They are narrated by the main character who begins the series as a teenager and then ends with her as an old woman in the last book. Richter is a great writer and really pulls you into what is going on with this fami ...more
Julie
Oct 23, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, the second in a trilogy, continues the story of Sayward and her growing clan as they continue to carve their lives out of the forests of Ohio, at the turn of the 19th century. Having hewn out a clearing for themselves, quite literally, the pioneers can now begin to look out on open fields of wheat and corn with a measure of hopefulness that they are making progress against the frontier.

Even so the war rages on: no longer battling the dense forests, their open fields are perfect targe
...more
Amy Edwards
May 12, 2014 Amy Edwards rated it really liked it
This is the second book in Conrad Richter's "Land Awakening" trilogy, following The Trees, and preceding The Town, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1951.

The Trees introduced us to Sayward Luckett, a strong and sharp-witted, albeit uneducated, young woman who was bringing up her siblings in the Ohio backwoods of the 1700s, after burying her mother and seeing her father disappear in to the woods. At the close of the first novel, Sayward married Portius Wheeler, a "Bay State Lawyer." Although their
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John Bellinger
Not as consistently well written as the first novel - this book strikes me as a strange blend of young adult sensibilities with much darker adult themes. Again, the protagonist, Saywatd Wheeler is a great character, and this is still a very interesting glimpse of the early nineteenth century on the American frontier. Still carving life out of the deep woods, this book takes the reader through time of the young farms carved between the "big butts", to the beginnings of an early river settlement t ...more
Heleen
Oct 15, 2010 Heleen rated it it was amazing
I read The Trees a few years ago and loved it, and I loved this second book in the series as well. Captivating description of American frontier expansion during post Revolutionary War era. But don't let that scare you off, if you're not into that sort of thing. It's all wrapped up with great characters in a simple but compelling story. While the writing and plot can stand alone, I recommend reading these books in order so you don't miss some of the finer details. Looking forward to reading the t ...more
Becky
Sep 04, 2014 Becky rated it liked it
This novel is a continuation of its prequel, "The Trees." It follows the life of Sayward (Luckett) Wheeler and her family. Their cabin has come out of the trees and is now a farm with plenty of fields. As the novel progresses, Sayward's land slowly becomes developed and by the end of the novel, the settlement is referred to as a "town." Thus setting us up for the next novel, "The Town."

The novel is written like its prequel, each chapter a story on its own that fits into the story as a whole. Th
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Michael
Continuing Richter's Awakening Land saga from where The Trees left off, this book marks a southeastern Ohio settlement's period of transition between forested, hunter-gatherer society and a small agricultural village. Fittingly, a much larger amount of the conflict in The Fields takes place between the Lucketts (now the Wheelers after Sayward's marriage) and other members of the community, rather than just among the family themselves. After marrying Portius, Sayward soon finds herself mother to ...more
Steve
Apr 23, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing
A wonderful sequel to the first story in the trilogy, Trees. The reader is carried forward in time as the ancient forest yields to the settlers' axes and "civilization" begans in the Ohio territory. A wonderful story.
Margaret Sankey
Sep 04, 2015 Margaret Sankey rated it really liked it
In this second of Richter's trilogy, the frontier settlement of The Trees is evolving into a town, and shifting the relationship of Sayward and her husband. In the previous book, he was out of place as a rebellious New England lawyer, and dependent on his much younger wife from a nearly feral family of "woodsy" survivors. But with settlement comes a need for laws, and registry books and literacy, and Sayward has to adapt to a newly stratified society where he is back in a place of paternal autho ...more
Christopher MacMillan
Aug 03, 2012 Christopher MacMillan rated it it was ok
Shelves:
Conrad Richter really hit the ground running with The Trees, the first novel in his Awakening Land series, but his follow-up, The Fields, is far less worthwhile. How unfortunate.

The Fields continues the saga of Sayward Luckett and her family, only now, Sayward is married, has children, and her and the rest of the local families - having cleared away many of the trees in their commune - are living as farmers instead of hunters. And this brings us around to the two main reasons why I think I like
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Albert Kendrick
While I didn't like The Fields as much as The Trees, it was still very enjoyable. Overall, this is one of the best series or trilogies that I can remember reading. Of course, the lead character Sayward makes the story for me. I have never come across another female character that is so strong, so demanding of respect, so independent, so supportive and loving towards her family and neighbors, so talented and hard-working and yet so human. For me the strongest image of Sayward is drawn with her sp ...more
Sarah Smith
Jul 06, 2015 Sarah Smith rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this novel, THE FIELDS, by Conrad Richter. I enjoyed reading THE FIELDS, which is the second novel in THE AWAKENING LAND TRILOGY, as much as I enjoyed reading its predecessor, THE TREES; however, I did find that the plot moved a little more slowly throughout these pages than it did in the previous. I appreciated the fact that Conrad Richter's elegant writing style was just as active throughout THE FIELDS as it was in THE TREES. The pictures that his well-chisel, descriptive, an ...more
Leslie
Apr 27, 2015 Leslie rated it liked it
This book continues the story, started in The Trees, of Sayward. Her character ROCKS. In this second novel, Sayward starts her own family and the wilderness begins to be tamed. The feminism of this woman is admirable, especially considering the era in which it was written and the era in which it was written about. Still, this book seemed more like a 'bridge' book from the first to the next. Can't wait for the third installment to show up at the library!

Acc13
Mar 23, 2013 Acc13 rated it it was amazing
Someone described this trilogy as Little House on the Prarie for adults (only in the Ohio frontier).

These books are a lyrical ode to pioneer lives.
Conrad writes beautifully, blending the frontier argot with his own brilliant metaphor.
This results in a prose that feels colloquial and raw, yet poetic at once.
His detailed descriptions of the area, wilderness and everyday life of the Wheeler family often amaze me with his depth of familiarity. It feels as if he himself came from this time and place.
...more
Thomas Wood
Feb 08, 2013 Thomas Wood rated it liked it
This book is more refined in comparison to "The Trees" which comes as no surprise as it is the second in the series of three, the third, "The Town" won the Pulitzer and is next on my agenda. I didn't think I'd continue with the series after "The Trees" but, thankfully, grabbed "The Fields" and enjoyed it thoroughly. The story is simple and matter of fact, there are no difficult analogies to try to remedy or social commentary to absorb. It is simply pleasant reading. The story is more congruent t ...more
Chuck
Sep 25, 2012 Chuck rated it really liked it
This is the second book in Richter's "The Awakening Land Series" and although an excellent book it proved nearly impossible to live up to the initial offering "The Trees". The third novel in this series I will read as soon as I can find a copy to purchase and look forward to that experience because of the excellence of the first two books and because Richter was awarded the "Pulitzer Prize" for the final endeavor "The Town". There are many books and series that after six months you question your ...more
Cherie In the Dooryard
Jul 22, 2014 Cherie In the Dooryard rated it really liked it
I didn't find this quite as engrossing as The Trees--it felt more self-aware, for one, as if Richter lost confidence in the subtly of his writing and felt the need for more exposition. But I still thought it was a valuable read and I still think Sayward is such a valuable character in American fiction. I am very much looking forward to the third.
Nicole
Jun 15, 2012 Nicole rated it really liked it
It took me longer to get into this one than it did The Trees. The first several vignettes seem a little forced and I wasn't able to catch my breath with all the bad things happening one after the other. Sheesh. The years went by so quickly - one paragraph Sayward had one baby and the very next paragraph she had four kids. The jumps were happening too fast for me. Once the story settled down and slowed down, I was completely drawn in. I was so affected by Sayward's relationship with her oldest so ...more
Larry
Oct 02, 2012 Larry rated it liked it
This book, the second in the Awakening Land trilogy, picks up immediately after The Trees ends. It easily could have been crafted at the same time but wasn't. This is not to say that this second in the trilogy does not shift its narrative to more of overview and reflective descriptions and not as much about blow by blow accounts of certain events, compared to The Trees. The plot does move forward, but it seemed to drag more in this volume. The next and last volume is The Town, but I will have to ...more
Sonia
Continuing the story of Sayward and her family and their battle against the forest. The author makes their lives seem so stark and joyless, but they must have had some happy times. I guess his aim was to show the hardships they encountered and overcame. The book is written in "dialect" and there are some words I don't know and I guess I never will know. It's odd that the Shawnee play such a small part in this and the first book of the series but, again, I assume the author wanted the story to fo ...more
Dawna
Jul 07, 2014 Dawna rated it it was amazing
Ditto my comments of The Trees. So happy there is The Town! My favorite kind of read!
Mr. Kovach
May 25, 2013 Mr. Kovach rated it it was amazing
The second of Richter's trilogy about the settling of Ohio. Told in the local dialect, through the eyes of heroine Sayward Wheeler. Beautifully written historical fiction. Will read the third in this series soon. I can't believe I never heard of Conrad Richter so recently, and that these books are basically out of print! (They are readily available from used book sellers.) Reading always leads me to these hidden gems, making me wonder what other diamonds lay still unearthed in my reading future.
Becky
May 26, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it
More good early American reading from Conrad Richter!
Erin
Aug 05, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
I think I liked this one better than the first. It was easier to get into the diction rhythym, and I was already familiar with the different words (ie: butts = stumps). That said, even though the novel is short (160 pages), I still found myself skim-reading through parts too detailed. I'm still in awe over what Ohio used to be (couldn't see the sky for the trees). Really?
Carol
Aug 01, 2010 Carol rated it it was amazing
I read this trilogy in 1979. I know that most of you were too young to even read that year but I highly recommend them. The author was able to bring to life what life was like for the women that helped to settled this country. As I was struggling with raising my own family, it helped to remember just how easy my life really was. Enjoy!
Beth
May 05, 2008 Beth rated it liked it
While I did not enjoy this book as much as THE TREES by the same author it was still a good story. The wilderness is slowly becoming a town and the way of life will begin to change greatly for Sayward. This story touched on rabies, the lack of birth control, adultry. It was a very hard time to live, especially for women.
Leslie
Jan 16, 2016 Leslie rated it it was amazing
Seriously enjoyed this book and the historical perspective it has given me. Started with The Trees and followed up with The Fields. Now, the third and last in the trilogy, The Town, is open and ready to go. Progress and all the it entailed in the Northwest Territory (circa 1800).
Judith
May 11, 2010 Judith rated it liked it
Second book in the "Awakening Land" Trilogy... The family that the trilogy is following has cleared away the trees surrounding their humble cabin, and they are now learning to farm instead of simply hunt for their food. Not as suspenseful or deeply touching as The Trees (the first book), but still a page-turner.
Phyllis
Jul 15, 2012 Phyllis rated it really liked it
Richter's follow up to The Trees met my high expectations, being as good or
even better than the first. I did something I NEVER do....put the 3rd in
the series, The Town, on hold so that I can finish the trilogy. This series
was recommended to me by Goodreads, so I'm very pleased can I can use that
resource.
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Conrad Michael Richter (October 13, 1890 – October 30, 1968) was an American novelist whose lyrical work is concerned largely with life on the American frontier in various periods. His novel The Town (1950), the last story of his trilogy The Awakening Land about the Ohio frontier, won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[1] His novel The Waters of Kronos won the 1961 National Book Award for Fictio ...more
More about Conrad Richter...

Other Books in the Series

The Awakening Land (3 books)
  • The Trees
  • The Town

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