Mango Momma reviewed this book a couple of weeks back, and, a few days later, I found it at a used book sale. How remarkable is that?
by Edna Ferber
This is the story of Selina Peake De Jong. The daughter of a gambler whose mother died when she was young, Selina was raised traveling from city to city in the US, spending a few years during high school in Chicago. Her father was shot accidentally when Selina was 18, and she moved to a small, Dutch town in Illinois to become a school teacher, where she married the tall, blond Pervus De Jong. "So Big" is her son, Dirk, so called by Selina until Dirk was about 10 (because of the game all mommies play with their children....you know, "How big is baby?" "So Big!"). There isn't a lot of action in this book, no mystery, nothing like that. Instead, it's the story of Selina's life from about 1885 on for about 40 years, and the parallel story of Dirk's life for the latter half of the book. It's the encouragement of a neighbor's son to follow his dream to become an artist, instead of following in his father's path to farming. It's a young widow's path to expanding her farm and support her family. It's the story of a mother encouraging her son to pursue his education and do what he loves. And it's the story of a man's path through life, changing career course midstream.
This book reminds us that life happens while we're making other plans. And it's a vivid reminder that children will pursue their own lives regardless of the desires of their parents, which is as it should be. It's a gentle story, enjoyable, and a nice read. 5/5.
Happy Thorsday, everyone!