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The Fields (The Awakening Land #2)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  959 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Conrad Richter's trilogy of novels The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), and The Town (1950) trace the transformation of Ohio from wilderness to farmland to the site of modern industrial civilization, all in the lifetime of one character. The Fields continues the saga of the Luckett family that began in The Trees. In The Fields, the oldest daughter, Sayward, has begun the l ...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 288 pages
Published 1946 by Knopf
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Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: conrad-richter
3.5 Stars

Second novel in "The Awakening Land" series, the first being "The Trees".

Here we have the forest slowly but surely coming under the thumb of civilization and Sayward's family expanding until she bears nine children by the end (and I believe more to come in book three).

There is excitement in the form of snake bite and one horrible burn accident but overall I felt this book was tamer than its predecessor, almost as though the author was attempting to show that with civilization comes a ce
For some, the woodsies who made their living hunting and trapping game, the great trees in the Ohio valley's primeval forests were friends. But for the settlers who came west hoping to farm the rich land of the valley, the trees were obstacles, massive barriers to the light and rain cultivated crops needed.

Over the course of some fifteen years the Ohio River Valley is transformed, the land is tilled, the stumps torn out by brute force and fire, and the river becomes a great watery highway linki
Lisa (Harmonybites)
The Fields is the second book in the Awakening Land Trilogy. Richter received the Pulitzer Prize for The Town, the third book of the trilogy about American pioneers, and according to the short biography in the back, the first book, The Trees, was the one he "felt was most alive." This is the middle book, and I'd rate it only a smidgin below the first. It's mostly told through the point of view of Sayward Luckett, who was fifteen years old when she came to the Northwest Territory with her family. ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book, the second in a trilogy, continues the story of Sayward and her growing clan as they continue to carve their lives out of the forests of Ohio, at the turn of the 19th century. Having hewn out a clearing for themselves, quite literally, the pioneers can now begin to look out on open fields of wheat and corn with a measure of hopefulness that they are making progress against the frontier.

Even so the war rages on: no longer battling the dense forests, their open fields are perfect targe
Jun 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These 3 books (The Trees, The Fields, & The Town) are collectively known as The Awakening Land Series. They give an accurate view of what life was like for pioneers settling into N. America, specifically migrating from Pennsylvania to the wild unsettled area of what is now Ohio. They are narrated by the main character who begins the series as a teenager and then ends with her as an old woman in the last book. Richter is a great writer and really pulls you into what is going on with this fami ...more
Amy Edwards
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in Conrad Richter's "Land Awakening" trilogy, following The Trees, and preceding The Town, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1951.

The Trees introduced us to Sayward Luckett, a strong and sharp-witted, albeit uneducated, young woman who was bringing up her siblings in the Ohio backwoods of the 1700s, after burying her mother and seeing her father disappear in to the woods. At the close of the first novel, Sayward married Portius Wheeler, a "Bay State Lawyer." Although their
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second installment of the trilogy, in which we see the woods slowly become the fields, and move toward becoming a town. These books are so rich, I'm not equal to doing them justice, you'll just have to take my word for it and read them. They go by quickly, because there's so much happening, you don't want to put them down. But the main reason to read them is Sayward (pronounced "Saird," apparently, except by her husband for whom special allowance is made due to all his book-learning). She's ...more
Tom Metz
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent sequel to The Trees, second volume in Conrad Richter's The Awakening Land series. The austere tone and country ("woodsy") diction is maintained, but it never obtrudes on the narrative or breaks the wonderful spell this story casts. I am growing very fond of Saird Luckett. She reminds me of my grandmother. I'm going to miss her when I finish The Town.
Nancy O
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read The Awakening Land trilogy in 7th grade, some 46 years ago, and then I lost The Fields while rereading it. Then I discovered that these books, published initially in 1940, 1942, and 1946 respectively, were back in print from the Ohio University Press. They're every bit as good as I'd remembered.

The books follow the life of a "woodsy," Sayward Luckett Wheeler, who, in the latter part of the 18th century, carves a living along with her family in the deep forests of Ohio. In this parti
Lorraine Peters
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
excellent could barely put it down cant wait for book 3
Harold Titus
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conrad Richter’s “The Fields” is the second novel of ”The Awakening Land” trilogy, which chronicles changing frontier life in southern Ohio beginning after the American Revolution and lengthening into the Nineteenth Century. Sayward Luckett Wheeler, the novel’s main character -- instinctively wise, competent, emotionally balanced – faces now different challenges. Long gone from her life are her father Worth, the inveterate hunter; her mother Jary, buried so long ago; and two sisters: the child S ...more
John Bellinger
Not as consistently well written as the first novel - this book strikes me as a strange blend of young adult sensibilities with much darker adult themes. Again, the protagonist, Saywatd Wheeler is a great character, and this is still a very interesting glimpse of the early nineteenth century on the American frontier. Still carving life out of the deep woods, this book takes the reader through time of the young farms carved between the "big butts", to the beginnings of an early river settlement t ...more
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read The Trees a few years ago and loved it, and I loved this second book in the series as well. Captivating description of American frontier expansion during post Revolutionary War era. But don't let that scare you off, if you're not into that sort of thing. It's all wrapped up with great characters in a simple but compelling story. While the writing and plot can stand alone, I recommend reading these books in order so you don't miss some of the finer details. Looking forward to reading the t ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful sequel to the first story in the trilogy, Trees. The reader is carried forward in time as the ancient forest yields to the settlers' axes and "civilization" begans in the Ohio territory. A wonderful story.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the writing style. Very informative, great characterization of strong woman in early American settlement, AND enjoyable.
Lynn Green
I read this to fulfill the Read Harder Challenge 2017 in the category, "Read a book that you have read before." I last read this book as high school junior in Nampa, Idaho. I was surprised and pleased that I did remember parts of the book.

At the time, I suppose I thought of this as a heroic tale of man versus nature. Nature is almost a enemy in this book, particularly the trees which get in the way of building homes and planting crops. Sayward, woman who is the point of view in this book, looks
Andrea Robinson
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story. I can picture vividly in my mind the house and family. Looking forward to the town.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secondbook in series. So great!
I didn’t connect with this one as much as the first but still enjoyable.

Except Portious. What a jerk. 😒
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book of a series about the development of Ohio.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The "Awakening Land" series (The Trees, The Fields & The Town) was so much more than I originally expected. It started out as a man vs. nature story about pioneers heading west into the Ohio territory immediately after the American revolution. They had to walk the long distance through wilderness; learn to coexist with or avoid the native Americans; and finally cut a homestead from the land that would sustain them. The story revolves mostly around the women's' stories of how they supported t ...more
Sarah Smith
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this novel, THE FIELDS, by Conrad Richter. I enjoyed reading THE FIELDS, which is the second novel in THE AWAKENING LAND TRILOGY, as much as I enjoyed reading its predecessor, THE TREES; however, I did find that the plot moved a little more slowly throughout these pages than it did in the previous. I appreciated the fact that Conrad Richter's elegant writing style was just as active throughout THE FIELDS as it was in THE TREES. The pictures that his well-chisel, descriptive, an ...more
Christopher MacMillan
Conrad Richter really hit the ground running with The Trees, the first novel in his Awakening Land series, but his follow-up, The Fields, is far less worthwhile. How unfortunate.

The Fields continues the saga of Sayward Luckett and her family, only now, Sayward is married, has children, and her and the rest of the local families - having cleared away many of the trees in their commune - are living as farmers instead of hunters. And this brings us around to the two main reasons why I think I like
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is a continuation of its prequel, "The Trees." It follows the life of Sayward (Luckett) Wheeler and her family. Their cabin has come out of the trees and is now a farm with plenty of fields. As the novel progresses, Sayward's land slowly becomes developed and by the end of the novel, the settlement is referred to as a "town." Thus setting us up for the next novel, "The Town."

The novel is written like its prequel, each chapter a story on its own that fits into the story as a whole. Th
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While I didn't like The Fields as much as The Trees, it was still very enjoyable. Overall, this is one of the best series or trilogies that I can remember reading. Of course, the lead character Sayward makes the story for me. I have never come across another female character that is so strong, so demanding of respect, so independent, so supportive and loving towards her family and neighbors, so talented and hard-working and yet so human. For me the strongest image of Sayward is drawn with her sp ...more
Continuing Richter's Awakening Land saga from where The Trees left off, this book marks a southeastern Ohio settlement's period of transition between forested, hunter-gatherer society and a small agricultural village. Fittingly, a much larger amount of the conflict in The Fields takes place between the Lucketts (now the Wheelers after Sayward's marriage) and other members of the community, rather than just among the family themselves. After marrying Portius, Sayward soon finds herself mother to ...more
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone described this trilogy as Little House on the Prarie for adults (only in the Ohio frontier).

These books are a lyrical ode to pioneer lives.
Conrad writes beautifully, blending the frontier argot with his own brilliant metaphor.
This results in a prose that feels colloquial and raw, yet poetic at once.
His detailed descriptions of the area, wilderness and everyday life of the Wheeler family often amaze me with his depth of familiarity. It feels as if he himself came from this time and place.
Thomas Wood
This book is more refined in comparison to "The Trees" which comes as no surprise as it is the second in the series of three, the third, "The Town" won the Pulitzer and is next on my agenda. I didn't think I'd continue with the series after "The Trees" but, thankfully, grabbed "The Fields" and enjoyed it thoroughly. The story is simple and matter of fact, there are no difficult analogies to try to remedy or social commentary to absorb. It is simply pleasant reading. The story is more congruent t ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in Richter's "The Awakening Land Series" and although an excellent book it proved nearly impossible to live up to the initial offering "The Trees". The third novel in this series I will read as soon as I can find a copy to purchase and look forward to that experience because of the excellence of the first two books and because Richter was awarded the "Pulitzer Prize" for the final endeavor "The Town". There are many books and series that after six months you question your ...more
It took me longer to get into this one than it did The Trees. The first several vignettes seem a little forced and I wasn't able to catch my breath with all the bad things happening one after the other. Sheesh. The years went by so quickly - one paragraph Sayward had one baby and the very next paragraph she had four kids. The jumps were happening too fast for me. Once the story settled down and slowed down, I was completely drawn in. I was so affected by Sayward's relationship with her oldest so ...more
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Conrad Michael Richter (October 13, 1890 – October 30, 1968) was an American novelist whose lyrical work is concerned largely with life on the American frontier in various periods. His novel The Town (1950), the last story of his trilogy The Awakening Land about the Ohio frontier, won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[1] His novel The Waters of Kronos won the 1961 National Book Award for Fictio ...more
More about Conrad Richter

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The Awakening Land (3 books)
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