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a painted house book review

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A Painted HouseA Painted HouseA young boy, his family, and the migrant workers they hire to work their cotton farm struggle against difficult odds to raise and sell the crop. Meanwhile, the boy dreams of living in … is adefinite collection book. It is a book that you fall asleep with every night because you cant stop reading it. I read it for my summer reading book for school.

Is a painted house by John Grisham a good book?

Community Reviews. A Painted House was my favorite of John Grisham’s novels. Grisham’s depictions of life in the ’50s on a farm reminded me of one of my favorite authors, John Steinbeck. Grisham’s prose is sparse but beautiful in this story, which involves a murder, but is mostly a coming-of-age story of the young protagonist.

What is the plot of the book A Painted House?

A Painted House is a 2001 novel by American author John Grisham. Story is told through the eyes of seven-year-old Luke Chandler, the youngest in a family of cotton farmers struggling to harvest their crop and earn enough to settle their debts. A Painted House is a 2001 novel by American author John Grisham.

What makes a painted house different from other coming of age stories?

A PAINTED HOUSE is set apart from ordinary coming-of-age stories by Grisham’s artful use of sensory details. One can hear a hissing, coiled snake, feel the chill blast of a tornado’s fury and smell the stench of water-soaked cotton balls.

What is the story of a painted house?

Although Grisham tells this story through the eyes of a child, A Painted House is not without controversy. Small time farmers like the Chandlers rely on hired help to get them through a harvest. Each year, Black Oak families hired both Mexicans and hill people from Ozark country. In 1952, the Chandler’s hill people invited trouble. The Spruill family set up their camp on the Chandler’s front yard, the place where Luke had designated his baseball field. The family did not know their place and expected Luke to respect them as elders even though every hill family in the past treated their employers with reverence. Hank Spruill was a menace and scared not only Luke but everyone in Black Oak. His sister Tally was seventeen and invited Luke on many an adventure that was not appropriate for child viewing. That was just the hill people as Mexicans brought their own set of problems to Black Oak, including the inevitable showdown with the hill people, leading to tension during the cotton harvest. Yet, for cotton farmers, this is the risk they took when hiring help each year , although how many more years the Chandlers would farm remained to be seen.

How old was Luke Chandler when he played baseball?

The Cardinals were six games back of the Dodgers with six weeks to play, the season all but over. To seven year old Luke Chandler, baseball was his world. The only child of cotton farmers living outside of Black Oak, Arkansas, Luke’s year centers on cotton and baseball season.

How old is John Grisham in A Painted House?

He is seven, and it is he telling the story. In my view, Grisham captures remarkably well the world of a. Inspired by his own childhood in Arkansas, A Painted House is John Grisham ‘S first major work outside the legal thriller genre, the genre for which he is so well known. Grisham’s trademark is suspense.

What is the summer of secrets?

Through Luke’s eyes, the summer can be seen as a succession of secrets. If I were to give the book a title, it would be The Summer of Secrets–A Seven-Year-Old’s Summer from the Cotton Fields of Arkansas . Luke has been raised not to keep secrets, at least not from his parents.

What is Luke’s perspective on the Mexicans?

His perspective on both the Mexicans, the Hill People, his family, his neighbors and the townsfolk is enlightening. The story is simple yet expansive and really takes a person back to rural Arkansas in the 50s.

Did Grisham have a gravitas?

From his first responses, it was obvious that he possessed "gravitas" beyond his public persona. Grisham grew up in Arkansas, the son of a cotton farmer, and went on to Law School but swiftly left that field of endeavor. He was a born story teller and has used the law background to great advantage.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

What is a painted house?

Grisham develops a suspenseful story, characteristic of his earlier books. A PAINTED HOUSE is a tale of social ambiguities inherent in small communities. On the one side, Luke’s family is financially superior to the visiting clans. But he is made to feel inferior when the malicious Hank points out that the Chandlers’ clapboard house is a gray, unpainted wood. Hank boasts that the Spruill residence in Eureka Springs is painted white.

What is the story of the Chandlers in a painted house?

Inspired by events in Grisham’s own childhood, A PAINTED HOUSE is the story of the Chandlers, a 1950s Arkansas farming family, as told through the eyes of seven-year-old Luke. While drama, tragedy, and injustice abound, there is not a lawyer or courtroom to be found in the entire narrative. Is this new, more literary Grisham to be taken seriously? Actually, yes.

Where does the setting of a painted house take place?

Unlike the courtroom dramas that trademark earlier books, A PAINTED HOUSE takes place in rural Arkansas in 1952, where the setting is a family’s cotton farm. An only child, Luke is introduced to two migrant groups, the hill people and the Mexicans. His childhood is turned upside down when they interact with the Chandler family.

Who is Tally in Grisham?

Louis Cardinals), to Tally, a young itinerant worker who risks everything to escape a life she believes holds no promise.


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What is the theme of the painted house?

The Painted House is a departure for Grisham, who is known for his legal thrillers. The story is written from the perspective of Luke Chandler, a seven year old boy. Luke’s family are cotton farmers, and the story is centred around picking season, and Luke’s experiences as he witnesses the interactions between the migrant workers, the hill people and Mexicans who come to help pick the 80 acres of cotton owned by his family. There are a few themes in the book. Firstly there is the psychological – Luke’s coming of age, as he witnesses (through spying) the births and deaths which occur in the lives of the adults around him. Then there is the sociological, as Luke’s narration takes us towards the end of the cotton industry and the move of the rural south away from the bucolic farm life into the industrial age, also hinting at the impact of the Korean war, and the rise of the cult of Baseball. The story itself is not a bad one, and as a portrait of a lost time, an evocative picture of what life was like in the rural South of the US during the 1950s, it works reasonably well. Perhaps this is part of the popularity of the book. However, there are some major flaws in the writing, most of which are stylistic. Firstly the main character and narrator, Luke Chandler, is not well drawn. His language is inappropriate to a seven year old, and his character is only lightly sketched, providing us with little insight into his mind or the sensations he experiences.. One can imagine that the story is perhaps a kind of flashback, a recollection which doesn’t take place in the mind of young Luke at all, but rather the mind of an older, reflective adult, with the capacity to use words like languid, embellishment, flagrant, and phrases like “a misfit from the moment she stepped out of the car” (205) or “scribbled like a woman possessed – humidity dripping lazily above the cotton stalks”, but this is not the way in which the story is presented. Despite the past tense, passive narrative, the point of view is definitely young Luke’s, moving in a linear fashion through his meals, Sunday worship, miniature portraits of the people he meets, visiting family members, bits of conversation, and his increasing understanding of the world and its secrets. There is no sense of another narrator as character; no hint at someone older and wiser, except for the lapses in Luke’s characterisation. If this was the author’s intent, it is not made apparent enough to compensate for Luke’s inappropriate vocabulary, which instead makes empathy impossible, contrasting strongly with the Luke’s occasional lapse into vernacular like “y’all” and “puked”. Despite Luke’s constant observations, there is almost a total lack of characterisation on his part. We know he is a Baseball fanatic, and that he wants to play for the St Louis Cardinals one day, and we see, through his eyes, his impressions of the Baptist church to which he belongs, his friends, the visitors to his house, but we have no idea about this boy – no sense of his inner workings, or what really motivates him, beyond the superficial – a pretty girl’s face or a dream of stardom. And while an ordinary (and Luke is quite ordinary) seven year old is probably not capable of using phrases like “However thick or thin the kinship, the woman was in great agony”, or “during one of her frequent plays for sympathy” (133), he is certainly capable of wondering about himself, who he is, examining the life around him, the world he lives in the kind of fascinating self-exploration which is typical of a young boy. If Luke’s voice were in the local vernacular, something he slips into occasionally but rarely, the colourful Southern accent and expressions might have had a powerful impact, especially if combined with reflection. Compare for example, Frank McCourt’s seven year old in Angela’s Ashes: “I know when Dad does the bad thing. I know when he drinks the dole money and Mam is desperate and has to beg at the St. Vincent de Paul Society and ask for credit at Kathleen O’Connell’s shop but I don’t want to back away from him and run to Mam. How can I do that when I’m up with him early every morning and the whole world asleep” (208). The slight stream of consciousness style combined with the use of the Irish expression gives us more of a sense of young Frank in this one paragraph we get in the entire careful adult type linear narrative of young Luke. The opportunity to develop this boy is just not taken.

Is Little Chandler in first person singular?

There are also narrative inconsistencies. Although the point of view is primarily first person singular, occasionally the work slips into omniscient, as when conversations are repeated which could not have been heard, for example, Pappy and the Stick, the Sheriff (p 79), or third person, as with “Little Chandler almost wet his pants”. Most of the sentences are monotonous and dull, which despite the strong plot, makes for tedious reading, as in this passage (298): The hardware store was ancient, and toward the rear it became darker and cavern-like. The wooden floors were wet from the traffic and sagged from years of use. At the end of an aisle, I turned and came face-to-face with Tally and Trot. She was holding a gallon of white paint. Trot was holding a quart. They were loitering like everybody else, waiting for the storm to pass.” The sentences rarely vary in length, and this drone like quality accounts for most of the linguistic style of the book. Combined with the, television language and poor characterisation, this makes for a book which is unengaging and dull. The metaphor is basic and the phrases are stock, such as: “hoping desperately”, “one reckless move”, “scalded dog”, “just around the corner”, “cheeks burned”, “take it to my grave”, “was it all a bad dream&”, “beached whale”, “dramatic flair”, “prayed long and hard”, “weak in the knees”, to name just a few of the dull adjectives and cliched phrases sprinkled throughout the text. There are also moments of overt sentiment, whose syrupy description serves to further distance the reader from the action, as when the Latcher children are taken in, the choeless children with tears in their eyes, or the baseball game between the Chandlers and the migrant workers, when Luke strikes out, “I wanted to run into the house and lock the doors”.

Is it fair to review The Painted House?

It is perhaps not fair to review The Painted House from a literary perspective, since the literary and stylistic quality of his prose is not part of his appeal. However, the setting out of critical apparatus for objective book reviewing is important, and in an effort to further elucidate the merits of literary as opposed to purely populist fiction, a review of a book which is clearly not literary, might prove interesting, particularly in terms of setting out the criteria for aesthetic judgement: what makes a fiction good or bad?

What is the story of a painted house?

A Painted House is the story of a young boy living in Arkansas in 1952. The harvest comes and it’s time to pick cotton. The Mexicans and the Hill People come to pick for money. One of the Hill People’s name is Hank. He gets in a fight one Saturday behind a store. He kills one of the kids, but it was a three-on-one. Hank then goes to a carnival and decides to take a bet. A guy named Samson, the best wrestler all the way from Egypt, comes and says, "If you can stay in the ring with me for 60 seconds, I will give you ten times your bet." He throws a whole bunch of people out of the ring, until Hank comes. Hank bets him $25. He ends up hurting Samson and earning himself $250. He then decided that he didn’t need to pick cotton as much, because he didn’t need the money. Luke Chandler, the seven year old main character, gets a crush on a hill girl named Tally. He sees her naked bathing in the creek. Then, one day he sees Tally and Cowboy, one of the Mexicans, Hiding in the rows of cotton. He doesn’t know what they’re doing, but he thinks they’re kissing. Then, one night he sees Mr. Spruill, the head hill person, tell Hank that he needs to hitchhike home because he was causing too many problems. Hank starts to leave. Then, Luke sees Cowboy walking outside. He gets suspicious and follows. He then witnesses Cowboy killing Hank with his switchblade and stealing his money. He then threw him into the creek. Then, there are terrible floods. Later, they figure out who was painting their house, Trot, the one-armed Hill person. Cowboy and Tally run up North forever. The floods hurt the cotton crop. There is a total waste of cotton.

How old is Luke Chandler in A Painted House?

John Grisham’s _A Painted House" describes, in his own words, the life of 7 year old Luke Chandler, an Arkansas farm boy growing up in the midst of the cotton fields. Luke is full of curiosity and mischief, as he witnesses life around him, causing him to make very adult decisions about keeping secrets. You will fall in love with the characters. This book will make you laugh and make you cry.

Where does Luke Chandler live?

Seven year old Luke Chandler lives with his parents and grandparents on a cotton farm in Arkansas in the 1950’s. They are struggling to pay off debts on the farm, yet must find workers to pick the large cotton crop. If they don’t pay the going rate, the hill people and Mexicans looking for work will go to a farm that certainly will. Pappy, Luke’s grandfather is a tough but fair man, and he manages to find a family from the hills, who will camp in the front yard, and a group of Mexicans, who will live in the freshly cleaned hay loft during the picking season. Luke is expected to pick cotton every day as well. They work hard, and on Saturday afternoons they go to town to bring the cotton to the gin and to buy supplies.

How old is the boy in the book The Deep South?

The novel is about a seven year old boy growing up in the deep south. He farms cotton. He has adventures. It’s a different tone and style than most of John Grisham’s other novels.

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