Ann's Reviews > Hannah Coulter

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
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's review
Jan 30, 12

Read in January, 2008

This was the first book that I read by Wendell Berry, but it started me on the rest of his books. I love not only the characters but also the sense of place and of history that Berry invokes. Hannah, the protagonist, grows up in and around the town of Port William, Kentucky, the scene of many other of Berry's books. The books are not a straight series, but each book acquaints you with a few of the characters, who then appear, usally as secondary characters, in the other books. The sense of continuing community is one of the hallmarks of Berry's books.

This book chronicles Hannah's life from her childhood on a farm during the depression through her marriage to Virgil, of the Feltner family, and her grief when her husband is killed during the Second World War. She then marries Nathan Coulter, who fought in that war but lived. Their lives on their farm improve during the prosperous times following the war, but as their children grow up, something is lost from the old, harder times.

This is a book for people who like characters more than plot, who like to see lives unfolding and communities changing.

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