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|Read Epub é So Big ç Winner of thePulitzer Prize, So Big is widely regarded as Edna Ferber s crowning achievement A rollicking panorama of Chicago s high and low life, this stunning novel follows the travails of gambler s daughter Selina Peake DeJong as she struggles to maintain her dignity, her family, and her sanity in the face of monumental challenges This is the stunning and unforgettable novel to read and to remember by an author who critics of the s and s did not hesitate to call the greatest American woman novelist of her day New York Times 4.5 stars2020 has has been a fabulous reading year for me One fine read after another and it s still January This was yet another fabulous story which again left me feeling bereft at the end Those are my only thoughts at the moment, having just finished this marvelous book With a story this good, a marvelous heroine with whom I must part and a powerful ending I need some time to collect myself, regain some distance from the many emotions it stirred in me before I can write anything intelligi 4.5 stars2020 has has been a fabulous reading year for me One fine read after another and it s still January This was yet another fabulous story which again left me feeling bereft at the end Those are my only thoughts at the moment, having just finished this marvelous book With a story this good, a marvelous heroine with whom I must part and a powerful ending I need some time to collect myself, regain some distance from the many emotions it stirred in me before I can write anything intelligible.Update I don t think I will write anythingabout this story What moved me most and what I want to write about would include too many spoilers There are other fabulous reviews on GR, many them written by my friends I refer you to their terrific spoiler free reviews At first I was curious about the title So Big.which we soon learn is the nickname for a boy named Dirk DeJong The nickname becomes symbolic for a theme running throughout this story pointing to what s important in life Another way this theme is expressed is that there are two types of people in life Emeralds and Wheat The biggest treasure in this story, yet there are others, is Dirk s mother, Selena De Jong, who moves to a Dutch farming community near Chicago She becomes a widow after At first I was curious about the title So Big.which we soon learn is the nickname for a boy named Dirk DeJong The nickname becomes symbolic for a theme running throughout this story pointing to what s important in life Another way this theme is expressed is that there are two types of people in life Emeralds and Wheat The biggest treasure in this story, yet there are others, is Dirk s mother, Selena De Jong, who moves to a Dutch farming community near Chicago She becomes a widow after her husband dies She demonstrates inspiring work ethics making do with what she has Setbacks don t set her back She values education, justice, integrity, beauty, literature, and art She s not afraid of hard work and rolls up her sleeves She s strong, independent, optimistic, spunky, and courageous..a feminist before her time Selena encourages her son to follow his heart be true to his deepest self but kids are going to make their own choices.which her son does As much as we wish our children to take the most inspiring roads in life, it doesn t always look as if they do As parents we just might have less influence than we think Some people seem to need to make mistakes themselves in order to learn a life lesson others are inspired by observing others and avoid a fewWhat motivates one person and not another How much influence do we as parents really have on our children Maybe there is still a bigger lesson yet How much does it really matter if our children take the wrong road..and make big mistakes Who hurts , the parent Or the child And is that the question to ask Or is it possible that the challenge is to embrace the big mistakes in life head on accept them learn from them forgive and through differences love full heartedly during the hardest times So Big is a timeless novel giving us BIG THINGS to think about Parts of the story is heartbreaking.But it s always a powerful look at humanity This book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1924..WELL DESERVED The writing is lyrical..characters come alive in the context of detail descriptive writing He knew cabbage from seed to sauerkraut he knew and grew varieties from the sturdy Flat Dutch to the early Wakefield But they were beautiful that they looked like jewels that they lay like Persian patches, had never entered his head, and righty What has the head of a cabbage, or, for that matter, of a robust, soil stained, toiling Dutch truck farmer to do with nonsense like chrysoprase, with Jade, with Burgundy, with Persian patterns Thekinds of people you see, and thethings you do, and thethings that happen to you, the richer you are Even if they re not pleasant things That s living Remember, no matter what happens, good or bad, it s just so much just so much velvet Selina Peake s father was a perceptive man indeed to impart these words of wisdom to his only daughter, words that would stay with her through life and ones that she would practice to the fullest extent possible This extraordinary novelThekinds of people you see, and thethings you do, and thethings that happen to you, the richer you are Even if they re not pleasant things That s living Remember, no matter what happens, good or bad, it s just so much just so much velvet Selina Peake s father was a perceptive man indeed to impart these words of wisdom to his only daughter, words that would stay with her through life and ones that she would practice to the fullest extent possible This extraordinary novel by Edna Ferber, winner of the 1925 Pulitzer Prize, is as relevant now as it would have been back in its day It is a highly accessible classic and a pure joy to read I began 2018 with this book, and with any luck it s a sign of a glorious reading year to come Selina s father introduced her to a way of life that likely not many young girls would have had the opportunity to experience In 1885, at the age of sixteen, Selina moved with her father to the bustling city of Chicago, where she learned to appreciate art, literature, theater and a diversity of people When tragedy strikes, Selina is forced to make an important choice on her ownthe choice of earning her own living or of returning to the Vermont village and becoming a withered and sapless dried apple, with black fuzz and mould at her heart, like her aunts, the Misses Sarah and Abbie Peake She did not hesitateLife in High Prairie, a farming community to the south of Chicago, would be completely opposite to what she was accustomed, but she was determined to make the best of it A vegetable farm may not seem the setting for the grand adventure after which Selina yearned, but the unwavering spirit of this young woman was a rare quality Selina ranks right up there in my book of literary heroines Her capacity to recognize the beauty even in what others would consider the most mundane of objects and people made me stop and consider whether or not I take enough time to appreciate the everyday things in my own lifeBut always, to her, red and green cabbages were to be jade and burgundy, chrysoprase and porphyry Life has no weapons against a woman like thatI may never quite look at a cabbage the same again Like her father before her, Selina also wishes to instill the appreciation for the beauty in all things to her own child Dirk Dejong, fondly called Sobig by his mother, may be a farmer s son, but he will be exposed to books and art just the same, despite what little use his own father rates these small luxuries Selina has plans for Dirk, a wish for him to lead life to the fullest and experience all those things she feels she has missed out on herself She will toil away at the land in order to provide a future away from the farm for DirkAll the worth while things in life All mixed up Rooms in candle light Leisure Colour Travel Books Music Pictures People all kinds of people Work that you love And growth growth and watching people grow Feeling very strongly about things and then developing that feeling to to make something fine come of itBut can we shape the life of another, even one of our own flesh and blood What sacrifices should we make, what do we give up, in order to ensure the happiness of our children or another loved one Can you really stop a person from making mistakes, mistakes that you recognize from your personal trials and errors Or do these things need to be experienced first hand for us to truly learn from them ourselves I am at a point in my own life where I ask myself these exact questions that Edna Ferber so astutely challenges us to consider through her thoughtful writing As a mother of two teens, one starting to make decisions about college and career, I ask myself everyday if I am doing my best for them And what exactly is my best How much autonomy should they be allowed, and how often should I yet take the reins and exert my own influence It s a balance I am certain, and one that needs to be constantly checked There is so muchI could say about this pearl of a novel Better yet, you could just trust me, grab a copy, and learn for yourself that this truly was deserving of the esteemed literary award bestowed upon it I haven t delved much into the characters other than Selina, but there are several others that Ferber brilliantly imbues with life through her skillful pen So Big is simply a lovely novel towards which my review cannot do justice This book will adorn my favorites shelf for sureAbout mistakes it s funny You got to make your own and not only that, if you try to keep people from making theirs they get mad My decision to attempt to read all the Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction has netted me one wonderful, delightful, amazing discovery this novel, So Big, by Edna Ferber I cannot imagine I would have ever come upon it otherwise for two very sketchy reasons one being the name which just has no compelling power for me, and the other being that I have seen the movie adaptation of Giant several times and absolutely hated it That being my only encounter with Miss Ferber, I drew the absolutely unten My decision to attempt to read all the Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction has netted me one wonderful, delightful, amazing discovery this novel, So Big, by Edna Ferber I cannot imagine I would have ever come upon it otherwise for two very sketchy reasons one being the name which just has no compelling power for me, and the other being that I have seen the movie adaptation of Giant several times and absolutely hated it That being my only encounter with Miss Ferber, I drew the absolutely untenable conclusion that I would not like her work.Well, I did not like her work, I loved it I find Edna Ferber kept making me think of her contemporary, Edith Wharton They are nothing alike, in fact, since they have very different styles, come from completely disparate backgrounds, and write about two very different parts of the country however, they are very alike in that they are a strong voice for women, they understand the classes they write about, and they cut to the quick the hypocrisy that they see all around them in the society they live in Both of them seem to be saying, happiness can be had, but not if you are looking in the wrong place to ever find it.Selina Peake DeJong is a character I am not likely to ever forget She is a free spirit but a hard worker She is a person who expects a lot from life, but expects to get back only what she puts in She is a person who experiences the beauty in everything that is simple and genuine and unique There is no cookie cutter that could produce a Selina She is as individual as a piece of artwork, and a piece of artwork is what she is, in the end.Very early in the novel we are introduced to Selina s father, a gambler who lives sometimes at one end and sometimes at the other end of prosperity, giving her some advice about lifeI want you to see all kinds, he would say to her I want you to realize that this whole thing is just a grand adventure A fine show The trick is to play in it and look at it at the same time What whole thing Living All mixed up Thekinds of people you see, and thethings you do, and thethings that happen to you, the richer you are Even if they re not pleasant things That s living The crux of this book is about exactly that About living About what it is to get into the muck of life and squeeze the marrow out of the bone And it is about the things that make a life both worthwhile and valuableand I believe Edna Ferber would have told you, with complete sincerity, that money would not rank highly on that list The novel is built on contrasts The contrast between the working man and the toff The contrast between the wealthy and the poor The contrast between the artist and the financier The contrast between Selina, who lives close to the earth, and her son, Dirk, who strives not to.I loved all these fine characters, celebrated and wept with them I think the Pulitzer Prize committee got this one right This is a book that is relevant todaythan ever, for when has there ever been such a rush to measure life by the dollar value you can attach to it I am ashamed for having thought of Edna Ferber as irrelevant and I am rushing out to get her other books and see if she weaves this magicthan once Hey, I might even read Giant and find out that, aside from all that simpering and strutting that Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson and James Dean brought to the screen, there was a novel with a story and a lesson I can appreciate