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7 reviews

Some Luck: A novel
by Jane Smiley

Published: 2014-10-07
Hardcover : 416 pages
3 members reading this now
14 clubs reading this now
5 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 7 of 7 members
Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award

From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: a powerful, engrossing new novel—the life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. 

On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored ...
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Introduction

Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award

From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: a powerful, engrossing new novel—the life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. 

On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her father’s heart.

Each chapter in Some Luck covers a single year, beginning in 1920, as American soldiers like Walter return home from World War I, and going up through the early 1950s, with the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change. As the Langdons branch out from Iowa to both coasts of America, the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis; later still, a girl you’d seen growing up now has a little girl of her own, and you discover that your laughter and your admiration for all these lives are mixing with tears.   

Some Luck delivers on everything we look for in a work of fiction. Taking us through cycles of births and deaths, passions and betrayals, among characters we come to know inside and out, it is a tour de force that stands wholly on its own. But it is also the first part of a dazzling epic trilogy—a literary adventure that will span a century in America: an astonishing feat of storytelling by a beloved writer at the height of her powers.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

See the reading guide for questions.
by tina55 (see profile) 02/23/16

http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/9997-some-luck-smiley
by ncvlib (see profile) 04/08/15

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Whoever leads the discussion may want to watch this interview which provides some insight.
by ncvlib (see profile) 04/08/15
Video from Jane Smiley at Live Talks Los Angeles discussing the writing life and her novel, Some Luck. She was interviewed by David Francis on October 29, 2014 at The Moss Theatre at New Roads School in Santa Monica. https://vimeo.com/112442850

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Some luck by Jane Smiley"by tina55 (see profile) 02/23/16

The book club came to the conclusion that for the first 1/2 of the book, the read was informative and good to read. Once the older children began to grow up, the book became a slower read for most of us... (read more)

 
  "Some Luck"by nanovsky (see profile) 04/22/15

We get an excellent overview of life on a farm and how it changes through the years with the new technologies. Characters are well drawn and we look forward to the next 30 years.

 
  "Some Luck"by ncvlib (see profile) 04/08/15

Our book club had very mixed feelings about the book which is why I gave it three stars. Some members thought it was interesting while others thought it was slow. Her previous books have been some of... (read more)

 
  "First Jane Smiley book I've read"by jfwalters (see profile) 03/25/15

I read this book and truly enjoyed it. Keep in mind it's the first of a trilogy. The second book is due out in May. Each chapter is numbered sequentially in years and follows the Langdon family. I... (read more)

 
  "Some Luck"by paydun (see profile) 03/24/15

Jane Smiley's latest novel is a circuitous presentation of farm life and a budding family's adaptation to the changes of the 20th Century, changes that challenge an agrarian existence. The pace is measured,... (read more)

 
by nancyrae (see profile) 03/05/15

 
  "This first book in the series leaves you wondering what will come in the second!"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 10/11/14

This book, the first in a series of three, covers the time period from 1920-1953, but it relates facts from earlier in the century when ancestors of the Langdon family are introduced into th... (read more)

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