Monday, January 7, 2013

The Yearling (Pulitzer Winning Novel)

Flag had eased a loneliness that harassed him in the very heart of his family.
The Yearling, by Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, is a mega-classic. It was the winner of the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel. It was made into a 1946 award winning film. It is a novel that generations of children and adults have read and remembered.

Briefly, the novel is set in the Florida backwoods at the end of the 1800’s. Jody’s parents work hard to make a living farming. At the beginning of the novel we see Jody in his full, preteen innocence. Jody asks for “somethin’ to pet and play with,” something to love. After his father kills a doe, Jody adopts the orphaned fawn. They are as close as any boy and dog could be. As the story progresses, we see Jody learning about the harshness of nature and man: illnesses, attacks, floods, deaths. By the end of the novel, Jody has become a young-adult.

Times have changed. Despite being in the Children’s section of my local public library, The Yearling feels like a young adult book to me, especially with its graphic scenes of violence. Even as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was well written and had beautiful descriptions. I would encourage any adult who has not read The Yearling before to pick it up.

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