A Thousand acres by Jane Smiley

About the book

Larry Cook’s farm is the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa, and a tribute to his hard work and single-mindedness. His decision to hand the farm over to his 3 daughters is out of character, and Caroline, who has misgivings, is immediately cut out.

Reviewed by Friends of Farnborough

One person thought this was wonderful. A few thought it was quite good but most of the group gave it a two star rating. It was well written but the characters were not that believable.

Star rating **

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Homestead by Rosina Lippi

About the book

Each life has its place, and every variation ripples the surface of the tiny alpine village called Rosenau. Be it a mysteriously misaddressed love letter or a girl’s careless delivery of two helpless relatives into Nazi hands, the town’s balance is ever tested, and ever tender. Here is a novel spanning eighty years — years that bring factories and wars, store-bought cheese and city-trained teachers — weaving the fates of the wives, mothers, and daughters in this remote corner of Austria. To quote Rosellen Brown, “the women in this haunting book are deeply and uniquely of their place, yet they speak (often wordlessly) of women’s longings and satisfactions everywhere.”

Reviewed by Hedge End WI Reading Group:

One reader didn’t enjoy the book, but even she with the other eight thought it well written with many excellent sections. It was at times bitty – one wanted to continue with the episode in hand. The descriptions of the environment and hardship of the area were excellent.

Star rating: ***

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