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A Painted House Review
By Rachna Rastogi,
This is not a legal thriller by John Grisham. ‘A Painted House’ is different from his other novels. There is not a single lawyer or law throughout the story. It is just a different genre: the Southern coming-of-age story. Grisham takes a break from his hugely profitable thrillers to try a more personal brand of writing. The story is Set in 1952 Arkansas. A Painted House is narrated by 7-year-old Luke Chandler, the only child in a family of cotton farmers. He lives with his parents and grandparents in a little house that's never been painted. Luke is privy to adult secrets. Luke’s father and grandfather hire hill people and the Mexican workers for the cotton farm. The story pucks up the pace from here. For six weeks they pick cotton, battling the heat, the rain, the fatigue, and, sometimes, each other. As the weeks pass Luke sees and hears things no seven-year-old could possibly be prepared for, and finds himself keeping secrets that not only threaten the crop but will change the lives of the Chandlers forever. The remarkable thing about A Painted House is the striking simplicity of Grisham's language. Using a 7-year-old's vocabulary, he has created sparklingly poetic sentences. Luke loves baseball and want to play for St. Louis Cardinals one day. Ordinary lives become complex with tiny twists of plot. His characters come alive on the page. Overall, A PAINTED HOUSE is a tale of social ambiguities inherent in small communities.
This is the kind of book you read slowly because you don't want it to end. Good stuff.
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