Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Painted House, reviewed

I enjoyed A Painted House (2001), Grisham's first departure from his normal legal thrillers. He does a good job of bringing the reader into the world of a Southern (Arkansas) cotton farm during picking season, circa 1952, as seen through the eyes of the seven year-old narrator, Luke. The "hill people" and a team of migrant Mexican workers arrive and live at the farm for two months to pick the cotton. The many characters and different plot lines come together believably and naturally, and little Luke is exposed to human drama like he's never experienced before. At times the novel seemed a little slow (the book could have benefited from some editing), but as a reader you eventually settle in and experience another world, one that doesn't exist anymore. I also loved the baseball references, as Luke was a big fan of Stan Musial and the St. Louis Cardinals. My only real complaint is that the voice of the narrator sounded too adult.


Laura said...

I read this one many years ago. My older sister was a big Grisham fan but at the time his usual legal thrillers didn't really appeal to me. A Painted House definitely was more my cup of tea and I really enjoyed the well-told story but I have to agree with the overly adult narration. Good little review you've got here!

Don Capone said...

Thanks, Laura. I forgot to mention that I liked all the baseball stuff too. I looked this up and found out they actually made a TV movie out of it. I'll have to see if I can find it.