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A Painted House
by John Grisham

Published: 2010-03-09
Kindle Edition : 482 pages
5 members reading this now
16 clubs reading this now
16 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my ...
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Introduction

The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop."

Thus begins the new novel from John Grisham, a story inspired by his own childhood in rural Arkansas. The narrator is a farm boy named Luke Chandler, age seven, who lives in the cotton fields with his parents and grandparents in a little house that's never been painted. The Chandlers farm eighty acres that they rent, not own, and when the cotton is ready they hire a truckload of Mexicans and a family from the Ozarks to help harvest it.

For six weeks they pick cotton, battling the heat, the rain, the fatigue, and, sometimes, each other. As the weeks pass Luke sees and hears things no seven-year-old could possibly be prepared for, and finds himself keeping secrets that not only threaten the crop but will change the lives of the Chandlers forever.

A Painted House is a moving story of one boy's journey from innocence to experience.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from John Grisham's The Litigators.

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Compare the activities and reactions of Luke with those of modern seven-year-old boys.
What is the significance of the title?
Discuss the role of Ricky, who is a soldier in Korea throughout the novel. Do you feel he will make it home?
by bspourch (see profile) 09/30/11

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  "A Painted House by John Grisham"by bspourch (see profile) 09/30/11

Interesting story about a boy growing up on a cotton farm in rural Arkansas in 1952. Well written and suspenseful but would have been more believable if the narrator had been about twelve years old instead... (read more)

 
  "a book about the loss of innocence and life in a small cotton driven American town in the 50's"by knittingnurse (see profile) 04/11/08

book club held some interesting discussions about this book. We tended to vear off into discussing how the Chandler's dealt with things within their family and how we would handle those sam... (read more)

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