John Grisham - A Painted House

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John Grisham - A Painted House
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In A Painted House, John Grisham is less concerned with tight plotting and legal shenanigans than with the roots of that country life which taught him much of what he knows about being human. In the early autumn of 1952, seven-year-old Luke Chandler is helping his family pick cotton on his grandfather's Arkansas farm; times are hard--Luke's uncle Ricky is off fighting in Korea and rent on the land, interest on crop loans, is due. Tension abounds--between the hillbilly Spruill family and the Mexican labourers who between them make up the farm's workforce; between the bully Hank Spruill and the Sisco family, one of whom he has killed in a fight; between the Chandlers and their neighbours the Larchers over Libby Larcher's baby--which she claims is Ricky's. This is a tight and yet achingly nostalgic book about growing up and moving on--the few months it covers are ones in which young Luke learns some important lessons about the way of the world, and his place in it. Grisham writes here with a sensitivity and sense of time and place which have not always been his most obvious virtues--it is a remarkable book. --Roz Kaveney

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