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Reeds in the Wind
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Archive 2018 Group Reads > 2018 December Reeds in the Wind by Grazia Deledda

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message 1: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
The book chosen for this month is Reeds in the Wind by Grazia Deledda.
Please feel free to share any information about the book or author here, as well as your comments on the book.


message 2: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (last edited Dec 01, 2018 04:38AM) (new)

Lesle | 5805 comments Mod
Canne al vento ([ˈkanne al ˈvɛnto]; Italian for "Reeds in the wind") is a 1913 novel by the Italian author and Nobel Prize winner Grazia Deledda.
Set in the barren lands of Sardinia, the novel involves the themes of poverty, honor and superstition. A Sardinian village called Galte, not far from the mouth of the Cedrino river (on the Tyrrhenian coast), is home to the noble family Pintor (a father and a mother with four daughters); Don Zame, the head of the family, is described as red and violent as the devil: he's a proud and arrogant man, jealous of the house's honor in the village. His wife and daughters, devoted to housework, are never allowed to go out. The only rebel to their condition is Lia, Don Zame's third child, who flees to the Italian peninsula against her father's rule. (212 pages)


Kathy | 1256 comments I'll be joining in once I receive my book through interlibrary loan.


message 4: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
I am in for this one too. I will be starting it sometime next week.


message 5: by Brian (last edited Dec 01, 2018 08:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 3882 comments I am finished with 4 chapters.

This is a tale of 4 sisters. On page 2, the narrator refers to Ester as the oldest. Ignore that remark since shortly afterwards the narrator refers to Ruth as the oldest which seems to be the case.
It may have been a mistake in my Martha King translation but it threw me off a bit. The birth order seems to be Ruth, Ester, Lia and Naomi. Of course, I could be wrong on this.
As I also read the Makioka Sisters, 2018 seems to be my year of reading novels about 4 sisters. I guess I have a month to read Little Women.
The book - so far so good.


message 6: by Brian (last edited Dec 03, 2018 07:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 3882 comments In the past 18 months I have read novels by the 1st and 3rd female winners of the Nobel Literature Prize, Selma Lagerlof and Sigrid Undset. I chose to read this book to fill the gap and complete the trifecta, as Deladda is the 2nd female author to be the Nobel laureate.


message 7: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
That is a great way to finish the year, Brian.


message 8: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
I have read three chapters so far. The three sisters have lived in the same house their whole lives, as the world changes around them. They are poor and proud.
I wonder how the coming of their nephew will change things.

I like the way the author describes nature and creates a sense of atmosphere right at the beginning of the book.


message 9: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
The people certainly enjoyed the church festival. I like the way the author shows us what life was like back then in Sardinia.


message 10: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
The youngest sister, Naomi, seems to be hard and unyielding, and bossy.


message 11: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
I am about half way through the book and the action has become very dramatic.


message 12: by Brian (last edited Dec 06, 2018 02:58PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 3882 comments FINISHED I will try to avoid spoilers and make some general comments.

I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the characters and story. Also, it gave me a good sense of place, something I enjoy in books, be it the moors in Wuthering Heights, the Florida backwoods in The Yearling, or Hardy's Wessex.

The author did refer to the titled reeds several times. I noted one passage, also noted in the introduction I read as an afterward, where Efix says: "We are like reeds in the wind... we are the reeds, fate is the wind." While it did remind me a bit of Ted in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" reciting Kansas' song lyrics "all we are is dust in the wind," to Socrates, I appreciated what Deledda was saying about controlling our fate.

Overall, consistent with the time it was written, it was a realistic, somewhat tragic yet gentle novel, reminiscent to me of a Steinbeck read. Maybe because while the Pintor sisters are more the faded gentry, the central character is Efix and most of the novel is spent with characters barely surviving monetarily, trying to be happy.


message 13: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
I was surprised when I learned Naomi's age. I am two thirds of the way through and see Efix as the main character as well.
I agree that the author succeeds in giving us a real idea of the setting.


Brian Reynolds | 3882 comments It was hard to tell ages from the beginning. I knew there was a spread in ages as the author described Ruth as old, Ester middle-aged and Naomi still young, but the spread couldn't be too much for them to still be sisters. I was not surprised at her stated age since I was just thankful to finally have an age that I could use as a base for my imaging.


message 15: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
I have finished the book and really enjoyed the beautiful writing and the story of Efix and those he tries to help.
In the afterword, it stated that the author also wrote poetry and this really shows in her description of the reeds and the landscapes of Sardinia. She is from Nuoro.


message 16: by Brian (last edited Dec 22, 2018 10:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 3882 comments My only disappointment with the book was that I hoped to learn a bit more about the sisters' characters and relationship than was eventually portrayed. I thought Ester was interesting at first, but we didn't get much more about her or, for obvious reasons, Ruth. However, I guess the absence of this insight was due to the story being more about Efix and his actions, motivations, servitude and guilt. We probably also learned more about the nephew as a character than the sisters.
It was still a good story as Deledda ended up telling it. I did enjoy the way it was written - even the chapter lengths were just right. I would read something else by her.
I confess to typing the name Derrida before correcting it to Deledda


message 17: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
I hope that some more members will have the chance to read this moving book.
If you are too busy right now, don't worry. All our book discussion threads stay open,even in the archives.


Kathy | 1256 comments I have just begun Reeds in the Wind and am enjoying the lyrical language, especially when used to describe the landscape.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8565 comments Mod
The descriptions of the landscape are just lovely.


Kathy | 1256 comments I've finished the book and found the story of Efix to have almost a mystical feeling to it. His journey to Nuoro and his penitence seemed dreamy.

I, too, would have liked to know more about the sisters. What made Noemi so angry and hard? Did I miss something?

I liked the descriptions of the festivals and the landscape. So lovely.


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