There’s something about a story set in a country side of Arkansas in the 50’s, that captivates you instantly. And that’s why John Grisham’s ‘A Painted House’ had me, within the first few pages, right there in that county, almost watching the story happen in front of my eyes.
What I loved about the book was how easily it created a whole imagery of the setting – with dusty roads, tractors (and rarely any cars), cotton fields, farmers, the town where those folks gather every weekend to either gossip or worry about the upcoming harvest… The story unfurls as some untoward events take place around the Chandler’s household, leaving everyone with little secrets and private worries. And what had been a very hopeful season of harvest, turns out to be just the opposite, as even mother nature plays mischief. Everything in this book is about how the characters come to terms with the turn of events – with the ‘painted house’ being a metaphoric indicator to this.
I’ve always loved Grisham’s writing when he steps out of his usual genre of legal thrillers and ‘A Painted House’ definitely tops the list. The beauty of this book is that it picks up a few months of life from an era long gone by, and without muddling it all up with twists and turns, introduces just the right dose of characters and feelings and conflicts to keep it moving in a pace so characteristic to country life. A very honest book, one that I’d definitely like to read again!
Let me just say (with an Arkansas lilt to it), “If y’all haven’t done read this book, it’s ‘bout time you did” ! 🙂