megan's Reviews > So Big

So Big by Edna Ferber
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Aug 12, 2010

it was amazing
Read in August, 2010

I came across this book by chance in a rare trip to the bookstore meant entirely to "browse" for something to read on our road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. I found this book buried in the fiction section of Barnes & Noble--don't know why I picked it up or why I really decided to buy it; just dumb luck. How very fortunate because it really was a fantastic read.

The book essentially details the life of a woman, Selina DeJong, who by fate and life circumstances, happens to live in a Dutch Farming Town, High Prairie, just southwest of the big city of Chicago. Here she is a school teacher, is married, has a child (nicknamed 'So Big'), is widowed, and chooses to continue running her husband's farm. Selina is such a satisfying character--full of values I would wish to see in myself. The overarching theme of the book is to find the beauty in everything. For instance, Selina arrives at High Prairie and gasps at how beautiful the rows upon rows of cabbages are in the setting sun--to which the farmers ridicule her, since in their eyes cabbages are just a means to an end. When I read this section (and its brought up multiple times throughout the story), I couldn't help but thing about our drives through the midwest and the rolling hills of corn or open country and barns and totally empathize with her statement.

Later in the book we see how her son, Dirk (aka Sobig--nicknamed after the game played with infants asking them how big they are) fares at living up to Selina's ideals and the costs of not putting enough value in a lifestyle of emotionally satisfying merit versus one of monetary gains.

Sobig was Sogood. I need to read more of Edna Ferber and was thrilled to discover she has some great books in the stacks.

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