Monday, December 9, 2013

Lamb In His Bosom by Caroline Miller

Lamb in His BosomLamb in his bosom" has been called "a poor man's gone with the wind". I haven't read Gone with the Wind so I can't compare them but we're told that this book was Margaret Mitchell's favorite. My feelings on this book are mixed.I give it 3 1/2 stars

The writing itself is vivid and rich. the author truly knew how to spin a tale and make the reader see what she saw. the descriptions are like paintings and are some of the best I've read.The characters, however, fall a little flat. I said in one of my reading updates that I felt that the characters were written with thick brushstrokes~ almost as though the artist was going to come back later and fill them in a bit but didn't~ this makes it a bit hard for the reader to really care deeply about anyone. It seems that no one knew how to express their feelings so people loved and hated but we never really know
WHY they loved and hated...

Cean's husband was a good man who loved her and fathered 14 of her children. Why did he love her? I don't really know. In fact, he never said so himself to his dying day but we assume he loved his wife because he was faithful to her and provided for the children. But it could have been so much more...I'm puzzled why such a gifted writer who can make even a dried stubbled field look somehow appealing doesn't spend at least as much effort on her characters..

Another character in the book is really despicable. He cheats on his wife and smacks her about. The rest of the family disapproves but no one says anything because that "is their business, not ours". It was a sign of those times I guess, but
it was infuriating all the same.

BOTTOM LINE: A good read but not one I would read again because it's rather depressing. If you like to read about a very hard scrabble life with little or nothing to be happy about you may like this.I'm not exaggerating. The lead character herself believed that to be too happy was a sin and punishment would surely follow.


SEX: None shown to the reader but it should be noted that not all the characters show strong "moral fortitude"


PREJUDICES: Some use of the "N" word is used, though
seemingly without understanding. Knowledge of slaves has filtered through the grapevine into the backwoods of Georgia but the family is so far from the 'action' that they really have no idea who these people even were. It was assumed they were savages, trained like beasts of the land.

VIOLENCE: Mild. People and animals do die though, sometimes tragically



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