!!> Read ➮ Second Growth ➲ Author Wallace Stegner – Thomashillier.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Second Growth

  1. says:

    Westwick, NH is a small New England village of narrow minded, strait laced individuals for 8 months of every year, until summer months bring in the outside world to their lake front get a way cottages, looking for beautiful views and peace and quiet The summer folk are educated types, college professors, doctors, lawyers, etc The village only has 2 people who attended college So there is a disconnect felt by everyone The novel follows two of the lifelong villagers, and a Jewish couple new Westwick, NH is a small New England village of narrow minded, strait laced individuals for 8 months of every year, until summer months bring in the outside world to their lake front get a way cottages, looking for beautiful views and peace and quiet The summer folk are educated types, college professors, doctors, lawyers, etc The village only has 2 people who attended college So there is a disconnect felt by everyone The novel follows two of the lifelong villagers, and a Jewish couple new to the town As always with Stegner, the language and descriptions are beautiful, and relationships and personalities are revealed a little at a time There was a lesbian relationship and also anti Semitism in this story, which surprised me since the book was published in 1947 Every time I entered these pages I fell into village life with these characters as though I were there One of those books that I hated to read because every chapter meant I was that much closer to finishing.The second chapter, A Girl Named Leibowitz had the most wonderful argument between two people I have ever read The discussion centered on which was the most valuable and worthy way to spend your time reading novels, or reading history and non fiction.Here s a sample What do you know about this country from reading novels I wouldn t attempt to tell you, because you wouldn t understand, Ruth said tartly But anybody with any sense can learnfrom novels than he can from any textbook in your box Novels give you an understanding of people, they open your eyes to all kinds of things Who do you think Sinclair Lewis is, some writer of children s books, maybe Anyone who knows me knows whose side I was on, but the history reader made some good points too This novel was a wonderful way to spend my time, in any case


  2. says:

    3.5 starsSecond Growth A secondary forest or second growth forest is a forest or woodland area which has re grown after a timber harvest, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident. The meaning of the title was not evident to me until reflection upon finishing Most of the novel is episodic and for the longest time doesn t feel as if it s going much of anywhere, except in describing the life and 3.5 starsSecond Growth A secondary forest or second growth forest is a forest or woodland area which has re grown after a timber harvest, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident. The meaning of the title was not evident to me until reflection upon finishing Most of the novel is episodic and for the longest time doesn t feel as if it s going much of anywhere, except in describing the life and inhabitants of a rural New England village during the time its summer visitors have taken over I was reminded of William Maxwell s Bright Center of Heaven in that it too deals with a community that seems to be most alive for better and worse during the summer only A disfiguring accident late in the novel reminded me of Maxwell s Time Will Darken It, also set in a small town Both authors gentle prose likely evoked these comparisons With its intimations of same sex love, and a few other themes that hint at a boldness somewhat surprising in this quiet work, I had to double check the date of publication 1947 The prose in the last chapter elevated the work for me, as the pace of the words themselves, along with the perfect pathetic fallacy, conveys a changing mood and outlook on life as characters walk to their separate destinations, pointing toward their not necessarily inevitable second growth


  3. says:

    Wallace Stegner paints a brilliant portrait of a rural New England village, placid and unchanging on the surface, but roiled with tension between two groups of its residents The old time villagers farm and they ve been at it for generations The summer people come from the city to enjoy the coolness and quiet of the village They are college professors, lawyers educated people Many year round villagers suffer quietly There is a Jewish family that is not exactly shunned, but ignored by the v Wallace Stegner paints a brilliant portrait of a rural New England village, placid and unchanging on the surface, but roiled with tension between two groups of its residents The old time villagers farm and they ve been at it for generations The summer people come from the city to enjoy the coolness and quiet of the village They are college professors, lawyers educated people Many year round villagers suffer quietly There is a Jewish family that is not exactly shunned, but ignored by the villagers There is a young man, a penniless orphan, with an opportunity to leave his home and venture into the academic world a proposition that terrifies him And there is a young schoolteacher whose education has only served to isolate her from her family and neighbors These vivid characters and the astoundingly beautiful world that they occupy make this book an unforgettable experience


  4. says:

    There are several things that stuck in my mind about this novel I will admit, Stegner has not disappointed me perhaps this is his most poignant of the three I have read From the sweep of his Pulitzer Prize winning Angle of Repose, the introspection of friendship in Crossing to Safety to the dissection of a small NE village in Second Growth I finish a Stegner work with a deep sense of satisfaction This is a remarkable story in many aspects The novel is the story of Westwick, New Hampsh There are several things that stuck in my mind about this novel I will admit, Stegner has not disappointed me perhaps this is his most poignant of the three I have read From the sweep of his Pulitzer Prize winning Angle of Repose, the introspection of friendship in Crossing to Safety to the dissection of a small NE village in Second Growth I finish a Stegner work with a deep sense of satisfaction This is a remarkable story in many aspects The novel is the story of Westwick, New Hampshire, a small village that American Progress has missed, told over one summer, by linking, through a series of short stories, the interactions between the locals and the summer people Because it is a small place, unlike New York, Boston or New Haven where the summer people hail from, these interactions can be charming or disastrous, but whatever your perspective, the result is amazing Woven throughout the novel is the struggle one local teenager deals with when faced with a decision to leave or stay Despite the tragic events I felt relived by the outcome and if you read you will feel the same.I used to be a summer people, but am now a local Westwick is Brandon, VT a small town where I live And much of 20th century development has by passed my little town And we are lucky I recognize this and feel very blessed Vermont is very much like an au natural Disney World Read the book It is short, 240 pages but packed with powerful impact presented with powerful, but sensitive prose


  5. says:

    Stegner never disappoints me As much as his characterizations, I love his descriptions of nature, and of smells In the wood shop, the air was sweet with the smell of planed pine, the vinegar smell of oak, the richness of linseed oil In the sewing room, steam and scorch and beeswax and filler and cloth, good cloth On a bright September day, an effervescence in the air, no dust, no dampness, the sort of air that makes colts throw up heads and tails and run through pastures, the very bite Stegner never disappoints me As much as his characterizations, I love his descriptions of nature, and of smells In the wood shop, the air was sweet with the smell of planed pine, the vinegar smell of oak, the richness of linseed oil In the sewing room, steam and scorch and beeswax and filler and cloth, good cloth On a bright September day, an effervescence in the air, no dust, no dampness, the sort of air that makes colts throw up heads and tails and run through pastures, the very bite and wine of life that searched the lungs and cleared the head


  6. says:

    Everything by Wallace Stegner is a joy to read


  7. says:

    Strong 3 star Published in 1947, this is an early Stegner novel that could be seen as a set of short stories that have a consistent plot and characters running or rather slowly walking through them Warwick, NH is a bygone farming community isolated nine months out of year For the other three months of the year in summer, outsiders from cities and college towns move in The summer residents enliven the town, but also create apprehension, unspoken divisions, and a window into the outside W Strong 3 star Published in 1947, this is an early Stegner novel that could be seen as a set of short stories that have a consistent plot and characters running or rather slowly walking through them Warwick, NH is a bygone farming community isolated nine months out of year For the other three months of the year in summer, outsiders from cities and college towns move in The summer residents enliven the town, but also create apprehension, unspoken divisions, and a window into the outside When the outside actually comes to stay, such as Abe, who is Jewish and came to Warwick five years ago, he s an anomaly Only his talkative persistence and tailoring enables him to be somewhat accepted and find a home outside of Russia When Abe finds a kindred spirit, you feel his world open up and those chapters could be novels unto themselves.Second Growth occurs over the course of one summer and the outsiders are not the main characters but rather the catalysts for change These catalysts influence two younger locals, Helen and Andy, who start questioning if they may not fit the mold of the town Helen and Andy must navigate what they will do or not within the town s physical and social boundaries Each of them solve their dilemma in very different ways, sacrificing pieces of themselves in the process


  8. says:

    A plot as relevant today as it was when first published in 1947 The age old story of a rural community in decline Could be a village in any country in the world The paradox of the residents and their dying town and the neighboring academics who find refuge and sustenance in the same community every summer An early Stegner novel, brilliantly written and with incredible texture Stegner never disappoints, but this is one to be especially savored.


  9. says:

    What a gentle story Kept looking back at the map as the town revealed itself I could find my way around this town without the map now Like the town in this story I have a similar cottage my family goes to and see a small bit of this story unfold Like a gentle wind this story was wonderful to read though their was some damage caused by the wind.


  10. says:

    On a recent trip to Boston, I found this book, published in 1947, in a used bookstore and was very happy to get it because I believe it is now out of print One of Stegner s early novels, following Remembering Laughter, The Potter s House, On a Darkling Plain, Fire and Ice, Mormon Country, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, and One Nation, this is a gem of a story about young people trying to make their way in a small New Hampshire town The village, on the shores of a picturesque lake, On a recent trip to Boston, I found this book, published in 1947, in a used bookstore and was very happy to get it because I believe it is now out of print One of Stegner s early novels, following Remembering Laughter, The Potter s House, On a Darkling Plain, Fire and Ice, Mormon Country, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, and One Nation, this is a gem of a story about young people trying to make their way in a small New Hampshire town The village, on the shores of a picturesque lake, is vibrant only during the three months of summer when professors and wealthy residents from New York and New Jersey travel there for vacation, is cold, parochial, and isolated the rest of the year This is classic Stegner, with interesting characters interwoven with beautiful and symbolic descriptions of the surrounding landscape.Near the end of the book, the narrator describes the early September scene Steep light and sound of chores, the smell and taste and feel of everyday under the sky which said that no day was everyday, that each day held impossibly lovely promises, that the horizons could be leaped like crumbling fences, and that beyond the horizons the wonderful was as commonplace as the common was here This is prose I could literally read over and over


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Second Growth A New England Village, Untouched By History Since The American Revolution, Is The Unquiet Arena Containing, But Just Barely, The Aloof Natives And The Summer Residents Their Paths Cross, Happily Or Disastrously, In A Book That Seems Too Real To Be Fiction As Wallace Stegner Writes, The Conflict On This Particular Frontier Has Been Reproduced In An Endlessly Changing Pattern All Over The United States