Enidina Current and Mary Morrow live on neighboring farms in the flat, hard country of the upper Midwest during the early 1900s. This hardscrabble life comes easily to some, like Eddie, but for the deeply religious Mary, farming is at odds with her more cosmopolitan inclinations. Still, Mary creates a clean and orderly home life for her stormy husband, Jack, and her sons,...more
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This story is very sober. It could almost be a morality tale, teaching that if you willfully hurt others, you could end up losing what you hoped to keep for yourself.
The tale is told by two Midwestern farm wives of the early 20th century. Enidina and Mary are very different in temperament and beliefs, and they don't particularly like each other. One has healthy children and the other does not, which deepens the divide between them. But they live on neighboring farms, so they associate ...more
The words and scenes are powerfully rendered and unflinching in their depiction of the isolation and desperation of American farm life in the early years of the 20th century. But t ...more
Reading The Quickening, I was reminded of Willa Cather’s rugged depiction of 19 ...more
They form a friendship, a bond born of necessity rather than choice. Through the years with its many life changes they remain loy ...more
The hardscrabble lives on Midwestern farms are vividly, but plainly told. The lives were never easy, but they became cruel during the Depression and the Dust Bowl. ...more
I highly recommend this book for those who like literary fiction.
By the end of this novel I was simply captivated. Ms. Hoover is a wonderful storyteller and her characterizations are vivid and entirely believable. I could clearly see each of the women, their husbands and their children as if they were sitting with me while I read. Turning the pages, you feel the dreariness, desperation and deep isolation as the families struggle ...more
One part literary, one part gothic, one part historical, it is, in essence, an exploration of a symbiotic relationship between mismatched women who have no choice but to cling to each other for companionship and surviva ...more
Inspired by her great-grandmother’s short written recollection of her life on an Iowa farm, Michelle Hoover has written a novel of the prairie, of farm life and the connection, for better or for worse, between two women.
The narratio ...more
The novel starts in the ...more
I found myself liking one character more than the other, not sure if that was the writer intention, but Eddie’s character was so much more for me then just a ...more
The Midwest farmland that serves as its setting transforms almost immediately from being a beautiful, wide-open home to a stark, haunted, claustrophobic prison. The fields seem entirely too small to hold the personalities of the two women who serve as the book's narrators and protagonists, Enidina and Mary. Their loneliness and isolation, paradoxically, make the farmlands seem too crow ...more
THE QUICKENING, Michelle Hoover’s sparkling, Depression-era, debut novel is a treasure on every level. The title is so well chosen in its promise of volatility; its suggestion of both peril and new life. Some kind of upheaval, the possibility of ruin. In the case of Enidina Current and Mary Morrow, the true peril that binds them is found in their silences, the things they don’t say, but only feel and think about one another. The women have little in common despite shared lives on neighboring har ...more
Her book is a brutally honest narrative of Edwina Current and Mary Morrow, neighbors who are thrown together because of their need for companionship on the isolated Midwest plains in the early 20th century. In it we hear out-of-tune piano music in a tiny church; we smell the blood of the slaughtered sow; we feel the singe of a prai ...more
The Quickening by Michelle Hoover is a prairie tale. It's 1913 and both Enidina Current and Mary Morrow are farmer's wives. Their places are adjacent and this rather than like minds makes them friends or rather friendly. Enidina and Mary are very different. Enidina is happy in her hard work life while Mary chafes under the yoke of the plow. Years go by, both families grow and more or less remain close. There are small betrayals and conflicts but proximity and loneliness has decreed that the Curr ...more
I'm still thinking about this one, as the characters are about 10 years older than my grandparents, and it's hard for me ...more