Liza Martin's Reviews > So Big

So Big by Edna Ferber
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's review
Dec 08, 2011

really liked it
Read in January, 2012

This was my second Edna Ferber novel (the first being "Giant"), and it feels like I've discovered a well-kept secret of the literary world.

"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 envisioned yourself as, only to discover years later that you are not at all where you thought you'd be, who you thought you'd be. And how do you reconcile that? But Ferber cunningly shows us that the adventure is within us, that the turns and surprises are what we make of them, and that in the end, it is our spirit that dictates our love -- and interest -- in life. It is our character, Ferber seems to be saying, that makes life an adventure.

What I like best about Ferber is how she writes and the women she writes about. Her female heroines are quietly independent, fiercely strong without being bitchy or nagging. These characters suggest feminism without the blunt edges. They are, simply, women you'd want to meet. And that, along with her sweeping way of painting a portrait of a landscape on which lives thrive and turn, is what will keep you turning the pages.
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03/23/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Michael So which one for a F2F reading group, So Big or Giant? Appreciate your help!

Liza Martin I definitely think "So Big" is the best choice for discussion (I also think it's better than "Giant"), although I would also recommend "Cimarron," which is set in Oklahoma in the late 1800s and also features a strong and independent female heroine. That's a great book, too!

Hope this helps. Happy reading!

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