Stephen's Reviews > A Painted House

A Painted House by John Grisham
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's review
Mar 30, 2008

really liked it
Read in January, 2002

I read one review stating that the title of this book should have been "Watching Paint Dry". While it's not as exciting and riveting as Grisham's other works, and it took me about six chapters to get into the story, it was still an enjoyable book.

Set in 1952 Arkansas, 7-year-old Luke Chandler is forced to grow up quickly when he becomes exposed to several adult situations. It seems as though everyone in the story has a secret to keep and they all manage to confide in Luke.

The yearly ritual of hiring "Hill People" and Mexican aliens as temporary laborers on their cotton farm turns out to be a dangerous proposition this year. Luke is not pleased when the hill people set up camp in the front yard, right in the middle of his baseball diamond, but is even less pleased when one of them turns out to be a bully and is involved in a fatal fight in town one Saturday. Luke was unfortunate enough to be a witness and is torn between telling the truth or incurring the bully's wrath.

Luke also witnesses a brutal murder and the birth of an illegitimate baby, both turn out to be secrets he keeps and issues that cause him to wrestle with right vs. wrong. Throw in a schoolboy crush on a girl 10 years his senior and the constant worry about how the weather will affect the cotton crop this year, and you get a story with several different situations and angles.

Grisham's writing style is easy to read and very descriptive. Even though the plot didn't move too quickly, I still enjoyed this book and will continue reading Grisham's work.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Cml (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cml Although this story , as you stated, is not as exciting as other works by Grishman, I thought there were plenty of plot twist. The plot dragged out, I know that, but I was engaged throughout the entire story.

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