The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith
What’s it about?
This novel is set in North Carolina at the end of the Revolutionary War. The story is told in three separate parts. Each story is told from a different character’s perspective.
What did I think?
At first I was not so sure about this one. I kept on reading because I had heard so much about this book. Rumor has it that this was a highly anticipated first novel. The rights to the book supposedly caused a bidding war between two publishing companies. For this reason I plodded on past page 50. I was glad I stuck with it. Some of the phrases were just beautiful and the last two parts of the novel made the first part resonate in a way I didn't expect.
Should you read it?
The longer I read this book, the more I liked this book. The author is very talented and I will be looking forward to her next book. The first part of the book was hard to get through, but taken as a whole the book was good (not great) and well worth reading. It tackles some difficult subjects and leaves you thinking. At the start of the novel- maybe I just expected too much…. If you like historical fiction (or just beautiful, lyrical writing) then I would recommend this book for you.
“So many things become easier with age. Those dire emotions that wracked his body, pulled it from guilt to rage, from desire to accusation, have been softened, the sharp edges rubbed dull. If Asa has learned one thing in his years of grabbing and planning and blaming, it’s that he is nothing but a bystander in God’s game. If there is joy in life, it lies in patience, in watching the Lord’s creations unfold. He sits in the boat, clean of any anger, and witnesses the rain, the boat, the yaupon, the clouds, the spring. He waits.”
Which part of the book did you enjoy most?
If you like this try-
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
Ruby by Cynthia Bond
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
favorites from 2020
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!