Stephen's Reviews > The Yearling

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
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's review
Dec 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, literature, books-read-in-2011, teen-reads, pulitzers
Read from December 10 to 15, 2011

I grew up in a farm community and while I didn't live on a farm, most of those that I grew up with raised livestock that was then slaughtered for food. I've always wondered how they stood it.

In this book Jody loves hunting, loves the various foods that his family gleens from the Florida backwoods but hates the actual killing. When he adopts a fawn it's clear and inevitable what's coming but Jody, with the innocence of a child lives in the now and can't forsee the outcome. This story won a Pulitzer, not because its the story of one boy losing one deer, it's the story of us all losing that innocence. As Edna St. Vincent Millay said "Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies." and we all must lose that childhood.

That said, this story is not for everyone. the thick cracker dialogue sometimes requires some work to understand. The pace is placid and it takes over 400 pages to conclude this story though there are some funny and charming spots along the way for those than can relax and enjoy the journey. This book is definately not for the "Are we there yet?" crowd.

I've said of some of my favorite books that I re-read them, not because I like the story but because I enjoy spending time with the characters in their setting. I did enjoy these characters and this setting, but I don't think that I'll be feeling the need to visit them again real soon.
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