Angie Lisle's Reviews > Nightwoods

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
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Jul 07, 2012

it was amazing
Read in July, 2012 — I own a copy


A modern literary story, written like an old mountain ballad, about a dysfunctional family in Appalachia.

Through the beginning of the book, I was worried that this story wouldn't end well. Too many of the mountain ballads have sad endings and the prose is very reminiscent of a ballad (even if Mr. Frazier, unlike his character Maddie, didn't use the words that we still grow up hearing: "Yonward and thither. Hither. Sward").

Too many kids die in the ballads, so it was a relief to reach the end and find that my worries were ungrounded. I wasn't sure how the book would end until I got there (though I did begin to suspect the ending when Bud followed the kids up on the mountain).

Other readers have complained about the prose and too many descriptions. I thought the story was beautifully written and I loved the visual descriptions. The character Luce loves nature, the seasons, and plants. The descriptions help fill her out as a character.

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
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Quotes Angie Liked

Charles Frazier
“She always carried a book, though, in case she needed to read a few pages to avoid unwanted conversation.”
Charles Frazier, Nightwoods

Charles Frazier
“Mainly because people were what they were and you couldn't change them. most of the time, they couldn't change themselves, even if they were desperate to be somebody different from who they were. So, best keep your distance.”
Charles Frazier, Nightwoods

Charles Frazier
“Ask her what she craved, and she'd get a little frantic about things like books, the woods, music. Plants and the seasons. Also freedom. Not being bought and sold by some idiot employer, not having the moments of her days valued in fractions of a dollar by somebody other than herself.”
Charles Frazier, Nightwoods

Charles Frazier
“No looking back. Life goes one way only, and whatever opinions you hold about the past having nothing to do with anything but your own damn weakness. Nothing changes what already happened. It will always have happened. You either let it break you down or you don't.”
Charles Frazier, Nightwoods

Charles Frazier
“When Luce did look in the mirror, she thought she might still be sort of pretty, if you went by what most people thought was pretty. And if that's the way you went, you had your own problems. It wasn't like being pretty was an accomplishment, and it would go away in time. So it would be a mistake to get too hung up on it.”
Charles Frazier, Nightwoods

Charles Frazier
“People don't change, Lola said. Maybe you're still young enough to pretend that's not true. People are who they are, and everybody around them has to take it or go somewhere else.”
Charles Frazier, Nightwoods

Charles Frazier
“By way of conclusion, Luce said, I lived through it [the rape], so if you can't stand to hear it, you can take me home and go to hell. Men get so damn strange sometimes.”
Charles Frazier, Nightwoods

Charles Frazier
“Life can get fucked up fast when you try to be a pleaser. Because people won't ever be pleased, not even if you drop them ass-first into paradise. They like bitching too much.”
Charles Frazier, Nightwoods


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