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South Moon Under
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896 - 1953) was an American author who lived in rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. Her best known work, The Yearling, about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie of the same title, The Yearling. The book was written long before the concept of young-a ...more
Published December 12th 1997 by Amereon Limited
(first published 1933)
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When I was in college at the University of Florida in the early 70's, I did some internship work in community health in rural north Florida. I was from a big city (Tampa) so a counselor I worked with in Live Oak recommended that I read "South Moon Under" to understand better the family backgrounds of some of the people from that area. I was surprised to find it to be a very engaging and beautifully written story and read it rather quickly even though I was busy with my studies. A friend mentione ...more
I wasn't sure what to expect but once I met the swamp family; Big Daddy Lantry, his dour wife, wild sons and strong willed daughter, Tiety I couldn't put it down. The story chronicles three generations of the family. I had to adjust my tongue around the old south talk. Life is tough, but the soul of the people are just as tough as the reader moves through death, illness, love and slow progression of the family to adjust to change in society like the children taking a boat across the river to sch ...more
At first, I thought my review would be "Decent, but stick to Cross Creek and The Yearling for the best look at the Cracker lifestyle and the ecology of the area." Surprisingly, towards the end I suddenly wound up appreciating the book more because it depicted the erosion of this way of life as society caught up to the wilderness and laws enforced new ways upon the people, and the lives they used to lead became untenable. Interesting, though the characters themselves were less likable to me than ...more
I have this book in my library and have read it many times. Rawlings is known for her books on the Florida backwoods. She seems to view her characters in much the same way that Steinbeck did, with a wry affection and respect. Just as Steinbeck referred to Rosasharn (as pronounced by her family) by her rather elegant true name "Rose of Sharon," so Rawlings calls "Py-tee" by her true name, Piety. The characters are strong and stoic, as one would expect from a family eking out a living in the Flori ...more
This is a story about "crackers" in the Florida swamps. Their simple lives are depicted well, including their moonshing and wild game poaching. It follows the story of a young girl, Piety, who by the end of the book is an old (before her time) woman. At first the dialect bothered me but it truly helped get into the way of life. It was written in the 30s and thus has many racial slurs, however, there seems to be no intent by the author to belittle any sort of people. It's just the way they talked ...more
Margorie Kinnan Rawlings was a lady who moved to Florida in the earlier half of the 1900s, living in the now locally-familiar "Cross Creek" area. She ran an orange grove and wrote stories about the disappearing 'old ways', as well as the untamed Florida landscape that abounded. This region of Florida is not far from where I grew up. Probably in part because of this fact, in grade school we had to read The Yearling (the novel that earned her the Pulitzer Prize). Margorie Rawlings wrote about the ...more
A good book--it falls down in the ratings because I have read good books lately. The author wrote the book "The Yearling" which I have not read. The book is set among "hill billies" in the Everglades (I realize there are no hills there). It's kind of neat to see the setting of the book. It's basically a story (interesting but not compelling), without a plot. I don't really mean to disrecommend this book--it was recommended to me by a friend.
Never thought I'd ever be reading a book about moonshinin'! Somehow I always equate moonshine with hillbillies - not true, I discovered. These people live in the Florida scrub. SMU is a piecing together of Rawlings' experiences living with them. As she says in the introduction, "These people are "lawless" by an anomaly. They are living an entirely natural, and very hard life, disturbing no one...Yet everything they do is illegal. And everything they do is necessary to sustain life in that place. ...more
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896 - 1953) grew up in D.C. and went to college in Wisconsin but is known for her stories about north and central rural Florida where she lived from 1928 until her death. She is probably best known for The Yearling (1938) for which she won the Pulitzer and MGM made it into a film in 1946. Also, her autobiographical Cross Creek (1942), which released in a special armed forces edition, sent to servicemen during World War II, was made into a film in 1983 with Mary Steenbu ...more
While I did not enjoy this novel as much as The Yearling, I love the way that Rawlings writes a novel equally focused on the landscape and the characters, weaving them together into the fabric of the narrative. To be good in the Floridian wilderness of her novels, one must be in tune with nature and capable of embracing its wildness. A moonshine runner believing in vigilante justice is therefore morally upright, as long as he can navigate the scrub and understand its signs.
A wonderful story of old Florida. So interesting to learn about life in the scrub 100 years ago, especially because the setting could, quite literally, be my own back yard! Neat to read about, but I wouldn't want to go back to those times and ways!
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was an American author who lived in rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. Her best known work, The Yearling, about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie of the same title, The Yearling. The book was written long before the concept of young-adult fiction, but is now commonly inclu ...more
“Perhaps all men were moved against their will. A man ordered his life, and then an obscurity of circumstance sent him down a road that was not of his own desire or choosing. Something beyond a man’s immediate choice and will reached through the earth and stirred him. He did not see how any man might escape it.”
“Men had reached into the scrub and along its boundaries, had snatched what they could get and had gone away, uneasy in that vast indifferent peace; for a man was nothing, crawling ant-like among the myrtle bushes under the pines. Now they were gone, it was as though they had never been. The silence of the scrub was primordial. The wood-thrush crying across it might have been the first bird in the world—or the last.”More quotes…