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The Yearling (1938)
von Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
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First edition good
3.5 stars. Though this was read by some of the classes at my school, I had never read it. I've always meant to. Truly transporting to another time and place. The values of that time period, especially concerning animals, were quite different. It is most of all a story of the deep sadness that can be part of growing up. The love of Penny for his son is deep and lovely to see.
Here's what I wrote om 2008 about this read: "Lovely; coming of age and accepting responsibility. Insightful into Florida before it was "The Sunshine State"
The Yearling is Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ Pulitzer prize winning novel about the coming of age of Jody Baxter, the son of a backwood farming family that is trying to eke a living from a bit of high land in the Florida scrub shortly after the Civil War. The story is about a boy’s love for a fawn, a man’s love for his son, and the difficult lessons life throws in the path of a boy who lives in a world where he must become a man in order to survive.
There are many wonderful characters apart from the Baxters. The Forresters, particularly Fodder-wing, Lem and Buck, add a further understand of what it was to live in such a harsh environment and how important neighbors and family were to one another. We get a glimpse of the town life and a contrast between the two when the Baxters visit Grandma Hutto and Oliver. But the emphasis of the story is the relationship between Penny Baxter and his son Jody. Penny is a remarkable man, savvy in the ways of the wilderness, kind and humane and somewhat indulgent of his child. Ora Baxter is a harder, sterner person, with a string of lost babies in her past and a tendency toward looking a thing in the eye without turning away. She seems to hold Jody at arm’s length most of the time and never hopes for more than the scrapings she is given.
I was about 12 or 13 years old when I read The Yearling for the first time. Back in those days, I had seen the movie with Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman as well. I did not think there would be much that would be added to my memory of this story, but I was wrong. I came at this story with different eyes, of course. At that first reading, I would have been protected and spared, as Jody was, the harder side of life. I have known some sorrow and loss in my life now. I understand the lesson Jody had to learn and that Penny wanted to shelter him from, and I understand Ora in a way that I’m sure was impossible when I was so young.
I’m glad I chose to revisit this moving story. I had thought it might come across as maudlin or sentimental...a kind of more sophisticated Bambi. I need not have worried. Rawlings is not writing fantasy here, she is writing life, and life can always bear another close inspection.
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Readers Digest Condensed Books: Airs Above the Ground • Intern • The Secrets of the Day • The Yearling • May You Die in Ireland von Reader's Digest
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (1)
A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.52 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1900-1944
Klassifikation der Library of Congress [LCC] (USA)
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