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Archive: Other Books > The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - 5 Stars

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message 1: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Before I started reading this I knew two things: It is considered a classic, and Carson McKullers published it when she was just 23 (!).

The author's age and gender, along with the title, told me to expect some kind of romance. Methinks I need to do a better job checking my sexist, ageist bias. One does not expect any writer to publish her masterpiece before she hits the quarter-century mark, but this novel is brilliant, sad, disturbing, sympathetic, and downright disturbing.

For a southerner, she is surprisingly aware of the injustices perpetrated on the African-American communities, showing the everyday acceptance of this injustice by some characters and while others rail against it with (literally) their dying breaths.

She touches on the inappropriate desire of a widower for a teenaged girl, and his own guilt for having these feelings. She also relates in painful detail the loneliness of a deaf mute man who is everybody's confidante but whom nobody can ever truly get to know.

Finally, she describes with stunning clarity how hope turns to despair when poverty gradually steals every dream you ever had of doing something meaningful with your life.

It's not a happy book, but it was one of the best written books I've read in a very long time (and I had just finished one that I claimed to have loved).


message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I started this a while ago when I was in the wrong head space to read it and vowed to return to it. I must. Thanks for the reminder.


message 3: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments Thanks for this. Very tempting.
I’ve been eyeing the book for the last few weeks. It’s time is coming!


message 4: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6397 comments Loved this book. Just heart-wrenching. 5*****


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