A Painted House

A Painted House

A Novel

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
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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.


On-sale February 6, 2001.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Doubleday, c2001
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780385501200
038550120X
Branch Call Number: FIC Grish 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 388 p

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c
chrisbee55
Jul 08, 2017

I had this book on my book shelf for some time now and picked it up 3 times this spring and I finally sat down and read it. What a great book - I should have read it sooner. I would not have guessed that it was written by John Grisham as it was totally different from any of his other books. I thoroughly enjoyed it - as it was told by a 7 year old boy - some parts were hilarious - as it came from a child's perspective. Great read - do not pass up on this book if ou want to get totally engrossed in a different kind of story.

f
Fairestwood
Jun 28, 2017

I also thought this story was much in the vein of J. Steinbeck. I could smell the dirt and feel the rain. Well done.

t
trcookIIImddmd
Jun 17, 2017

Grisham is probably our greatest living author; I am a major fan of his. This story is told from the point of view of a seven year old boy and very well told from that viewpoiint. This is probably my third favorite Grisham novel after number one Calico Joe and number two Playing for Pizza. I like his lawyer tales since being a lawyer, he knows the background, but his non-lawyer stories are his best in my mind and I still very much like A Time to Kill which he could not get published until after The Firm. I am not a baseball fan and could do with a little less baseball bs.

o
olemissann
Oct 28, 2015

Beautiful story about courage, perseverance, family ties, and love. Novel setting is in rural Arkansas in the 1950's. The book describes farming life and hardship in the cotton fields at that time. Luke Chandler grows up and develops a greater understanding of life in this book. A good read for anyone who grew up down south or is interested in learning more about this way of life.

b
bridgetkgb
Aug 15, 2015

Don't expect court cases and legal drama. A totally different read - reminds me of Grapes of Wrath and the struggles encountered in that era. Good read.

e
Eil_1
Feb 14, 2013

An excellent family story told through the eyes of a 7-year old boy. The family's lives change abruptly with the arrival of migrant cotton pickers. It was well-written and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

JOHN HUNTER Sep 29, 2012

I would not have thought this was a GRISHAM novel. I realy enjoyed it, particularly the great insights into the picking of cotton after slavery was abolished.

l
largott07
Sep 29, 2012

This is my favorite book of John Grisham, my favorite current American writer. The writing reminds me very much of Steinbeck in its depth of characterization and lyrical imagery.

m
mudflapflossy
Jul 23, 2012

I was both pleased and a little wary when this book came out, thinking could he pull off historical fiction? Well he absolutely nailed it. The depth of empathy he breathed into his characters was drawn from his personal experiences growing up in rural Arkansas, enabling him to write a heartbreaking story of an impoverished farming community. It’s got it all, destitute share-croppers, migrant farm workers, a sweet young boy who lives for baseball, a devastating flood and a mentally unhinged murderer thrown in for good measure. At the risk of belaboring the point I believe if Grisham had written this under a pseudonym this book would have been taken seriously & ranked as one of the great American novels. Plus it inspired me to finally getting around to giving my house a fresh coat of paint.

y
yanualed
Aug 18, 2011

Enjoyed it, I found it read similiar to a J. Steinbeck, a poor but honest family who cannot get a break from the weather or the times.

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rbergman1
May 10, 2017

rbergman1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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