The Fields
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The Fields (The Awakening Land #2)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  545 ratings  ·  55 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, 161 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
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
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
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
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
Amy Edwards
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...more
Steve
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.
Christopher MacMillan
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...more
Albert
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
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
Acc13
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ditto my comments of The Trees. So happy there is The Town! My favorite kind of read!
Mr. Kovach
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
More good early American reading from Conrad Richter!
Erin
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
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
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.
Judith
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
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.
Gwen
"The Fields," the second in Conrad Richter's famous Awakening Land Trilogy, is more than an interesting educational classic. It is a must read for all Americans. Beautifully written.

This series is on my top shelf of favorite books and has withstood the test of time.
Michelle
I enjoyed the first book of this trilogy, The Trees, very much, and with this book it just keeps getting better. I love the main character Sayward and her journey through the developing American frontier. Now it is time to read The Town. This series has me sucked in.
Judith
I read this trilogy over 40 years ago and still recall many parts of the book today. My measure of a great book is how well it stays with you and how it differentiates itself from all the rest of the pack. I will retread this series one day.
Renee
As I said before I am reading this trilogy backwards. I suggest you read it in the proper order. This book, The Fields, made me both laugh and cry. One part of it still makes me cry if I think about it. Do yourself a favor! Read this book!
Kristine
THE FIELDS (1946) is Conrad Richter's second book in THE AWAKENING LAND trilogy that follows THE TREES (1940) and precedes the Pulitizer prize winning THE TOWN (1950).



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