Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker

Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker

Review by Julie Donaldson

Suggested audience: 16- adult

Winter Wheat is the story of a girl living on a dry wheat ranch in Montana in the early 1940’s. At the beginning of the story Ellen Webb is 18 and looking to her future—a future determined by each season, each crop of wheat, each hailstorm and snowfall.

This is a true coming-of-age story, covering a year and a half of Ellen’s life as she grows from a child to an adult. Raised by her stolid, quiet Russian mother and her frail New Englander father, Ellen knows little about the world and even less about love. She must come to understand her own parents’ relationship in order to understand herself and the world around her. In the process of understanding them, she learns that love, like dark winter wheat, can grow and survive amid the harshest of conditions.

Nature is an integral character in this story, and Walker writes as one who knows the land intimately. The natural world that she paints is full of symbolism and meaning. Walker’s characters are fully drawn—complex but knowable, and her language is almost poetic. Winter Wheat is a beautiful story of growth, understanding, forgiveness, and love.


Molly said...

I followed the link from Semicolon's website to yours -- and I am so glad that I did!

I have almost limited myself to exclusively read classic literature because I know that I can be guaranteed of a "good clean read" that is free from profanity or explicit sex scenes. I am thrilled to know that there are others out there in cyberspace who appreciate the same.

SmallWorld at Home said...

I read this novel last year and LOVED it. One of my favorites!

Paula #870 said...

just finished this....loved this book! Am also glad I found this blog...feel the same as 'Molly'...thanks!

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