Harriette Arnow: The Dollmaker

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6 My response to this devastating work of literary art was no different to ow I felt upon closing the pages of a John Steinbeck or Wallace Stegner It will forever remain in my Deathcaster (Shattered Realms, heart and soul and earns a place on my virtual 6 stars shelf One of my favorite novelsThis book stillaunts me For regional writers a fine use of dialect without creating or living up to stereotypical renderings of characters from AppalachiaFor students of American literature a rich meaty example of the literary movement of natural determinism ala Ellen GlasgowFor those with Appalachian roots It ll make you miss yer kin somethin fierce This was a book I read in college over 30 years ago and I still remember it It was well written but you may need to take anti depressants after you are done If I were the God of Books then I would create a Book Hell to which I would consign all the worst most evil characters who ad caused pain and suffering and altered fates to the good characters by their actions And Gertie Nevels mother would be the first one there just so she could burn the longest And yes as is so often the case religion and bible uotations were the catalysts This is a long and involved novel so I won t go into plot details but Gertie and er five children must leave Kentucky to join er usband in Detroit after Uncle Sam rejects im for WWII and e goes there to work as a machinist This is a 600 page novel so a plot recounting would be too long and involved but I will say that my Six-Moon Trail heart was ripped apart several times before the end Gertie Nevels loveser Mustard Seed Magic husband and children but than anything wants to goome Her usband Clovis loves is wife and children and believes that Leftover Dead (Trailer Park Mystery, his responsibility is to provide foris family The children adapt with varying degrees of success to overcrowded noisy living conditions in what is essentially a slum I came to know every member of the family intimately their dreams and fears and disappointments I also came to know and respect the other women in the alley and love their small kindnesses to each other in times of trouble The need for just a little piece of beauty in their lives was The Witches heart rendingaving to settle for the innocence of a newborn baby s expression lilacs that bloomed in the spring or flower seeds planted in yards that would be trampled by children playing As one character says we ve all got Splinter holes and they all gotta be stuffed with something liuor like poor Sophronie or religion and liuor it takes em both for Daly or phenobarbital like somebody Mrs Anderson knowsOther than the family there were two very special charactersere both of them peripheral Cassie s imaginary friend Callie Lou Breed of Innocence (The Breed Chronicles has a major role in events and Wheateye a wild child neighbor girl made me smile every time she came on the sceneOne thing this review fe. The Dollmaker was originally published in 1954 to immediate success and critical acclaim In unadorned and powerful prose Harriette Arnow tells the unforgettable andeartbreaking story of the Nevels family and their uest.

REVIEW The Dollmaker

Els inadeuate to convey my love for this book so I ll leave you with this uotation from the afterward by Joyce Carol Oates It is a legitimate tragedy our most unpretentious American masterpiece My Appalachian Writers professor mentioned that she knew of a few colleagues who were forming a club for people who could only read The Dollmaker once I might be in that club This book is long but so rich and so well written that I would love to read it again especially from a spiritualbiblical perspective On the other The Princes Mistress hand there is such tragedy that this book takes an emotional commitment one I can t imagine allowing myself to make again any time soon This book is bigger than its genre and I wouldate for someone to miss it because they don t appreciate Appalachian literature I read this book when I was 10 or 11 and cried all the way through it I was mad at my mother for letting me read it because it was so sad but later in life realized this book Immortal Jellyfish helped to shape me into the person I became Iave looked for this book off and on over the last 40 plus years and am very glad to see it is still in print and people are reading it This truly was one of the best lessons about life my mother taught me I California had been trying to remember the details of this book and the title I read it years ago and was excited because the setting was in Detroit I live just outside Detroit After a few years of trying to remember the name of this book someone just reviewed it on my feedI need to read this again but it is definitely a 5 star read The Dollmaker is the story of Gertie Nevels a Kentucky woman who is uprooted from theome that she loves and forced to live in Detroit during the Second World War It is a tragedy that springs from the loss of agrarian life to industrial labor the misunderstands and lack of communications between spouses and the burying of the artistic spirit and individuality beneath the struggle to simply existThere are dozens of ideas in this book that could be discussed and debated at length but what kept coming to the fore for me was the way one life one person can be smothered in the crowd of Afgantsy humanity andow much Distant Early Warning (Star Trek (Star Trek: S.C.E., humanity itself suffers for this every time itappens Life in Detroit is a nightmare for Gertie but not only for Gertie the alley she lives in is peopled with lives being beaten down and wasted The factions that divide these people are much less obvious to the reader than the sualid ties that bind them The contrast between the deprivations of the farm life that begins the novel and the deprivations of the life Gertie finds in Detroit are stark and while Kentucky is not paradise it would appear to be when weighed against DetroitThere is also the religious element that runs through the book Religious in the broadest sense of the word For Gertie is. To preserve their deep rooted values amidst the turmoil of war and industrialization When Gertie Nevels a strong and self reliant matriarch follows er usband to Detroit from their countryside ome in Kentucky she lear.

Searching for God for Christ and even for Judas She looks to understand er fate and whether er choices are truly er own or ordained by some Maid of Dishonor (The Wedding Season, higher power Indeed there are times when I wondered where God is in the lives of so manyelpless and vulnerable people As is usually the case the people who most profess to speak in His name are the least like HimMy Dem Nordpol am nächsten heart was broken so many times during the reading of this novel that it felt sometimes as if there were an iron band sueezing it It is in excess of 600 pages and I strongly feel that not a word is wasted Right into the Favorites folder with this one with my only complaint being that the print in the version I was reading was insufferably small for these old eyes I suppose I will need to be on the lookout for a copy with larger print since I can easily see the need to read it again someday This book was depressing didactic full of despair and in parts disturbingly graphic and this review is brought to you by the letter D That said it was an amazing book and I can t believe I made it to this advanced age without reading it A Kentucky farmwoman ander children reluctantly follow er usband to Detroit during WWII where The Site Book he works at one of the auto factories for the war effort No kidding these people can outJoad the Joads any day of the week and twice on Sundays Everything about the rural experience is good and everything about the urban experience is poisonous Plus all the dialogue is written out in Kentuckyill dialect I am sure my encouraging description is making people want to read this but seriously it was one of those books that I couldn t put down By rights it should be too The Devils Possession heavyanded to enjoy but the writing was breathtaking and it really succeeds in making you feel like you are right there suffering through Detroit winters and lock outs and war department telegrams and debt and agonyGrade ARecommended To people who might enjoy wallowing in a dismal family saga people who like lots of domestic detail about Betraying Beauty (Vegas Titans, homefront experiences and especially to anyone interested in the rural emigration sparked by WWII which I always feel you don tear nearly enough about Reconstruction and the Depression Vrolok hog all the rural exodus stuff I think I rated this a 5 because I read it at least 15 years ago it still remains one of my favorite books A TV movie was made in the 80 s based on it Jane Fonda starred did not come close to doing the book justice An Appalachian woman along wither 僕の愛を知れ! [Boku no Ai o Shire!] husband and children moves to Detroit where the familyopes to find a better life The setting is just after WWII when industry was in full swing Main character carves wooden dolls thus the title Book is about leaving The Boy Who Would Not Say His Name home culture shock relationships Have recommended to book groups always get positive feedback Copyright 1960. Ns she willave to fight desperately to keep Job-Hunting for the So-Called Handicapped her family together A sprawling book full of vividly drawn characters and masterful scenes The Dollmaker is a passionate tribute to a woman's love forer children and the la.

Harriette Simpson Arnow July 7 1908 – March 22 1986 was an American novelist who lived in Kentucky and Michiganfrom Wikipedia