>> Thursday, June 12, 2008
Publication Date: 1918 originally, (1989 this edition)
Challenges: Decades 08 #8 1910’s), TBR 2008 #9, A-Z Reading #34 (T Author),
I’ve had this Pulitzer Prize winning novel on my TBR list for years. I’m glad I finally read it. It’s a family saga of three generations of a once powerful family in a Midwest town during 1870’s through the beginnings of the 20th century.
The decline of the aristocracy and the growth of the middle class, along with the massive changes that the automobile, industrialization and urbanization brought to the country form the background to this family saga. The main character is rather unlikable, but the focus is on him because it’s primarily his world that is being turned upside down. The expectation that he didn’t have to ‘do’ anything as mundane as have a profession is something that he’s unwilling to give up. He is the child of the wealthy class and his family’s decline is contrasted with the rise of what he considers the “riffraff” of the less than aristocratic members of society.
The book read like a historical novel to me, but when it was written it was quite contemporary. I enjoyed it a lot.