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The Lucinda "Lucy" Richards trilogy, spanning the years from 1911 to the 1930s, has everything good books should have: a variety of landscapes, characters of all ages and social classes, an overall tenderness that never lapses into sentimentality, and a sense of the comic amidst the tragic. Lucy is feisty, funny, and completely open-armed about life. Josh passionately confronts danger and greed and prejudice with courage and humor and, sometimes, with bare fists. Even the minor characters are so rife with color that you first turn the pages quickly to see what they will do next and, then, you turn them slowly so as to savor each page of this remarkable trilogy. The year is 1931 and Lucy Richards Arnold--now a mother of a precocious four-year-old son--is in rural West Texas, teaching in the school where her husband, Josh, is principal and struggling to make a success of their farm during the bleak, hard times of the Great Depression. Out of this barren landscape, rich and colorful characters emerge as if from a fertile land. Before the year's end, Lucy is faced with a loss of such magnitude that she must struggle to find a way to recapture the joy in her very existence.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781574410808
ISBN-10: 1574410806
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 140mm x 13mm)
Pages: 216
Imprint: University of North Texas Press,U.S.
Publisher: University of North Texas Press,U.S.
Publish Date: 30-Jul-2000
Country of Publication: United States


US Kirkus Review » Continuing the homey, gently involving story of Lucy Richards (The Train to Estelline, 1987; A Place Called Sweet Shrub, 1990). Lucy, now wife of a school principal and mother of a four-year-old, is again teaching in rural West Texas. It's the 1931 Depression, and Lucy survives the best and very tragic worst of Hard Times. She adores husband, Josh Arnold, a kind and buoyant principal/farmer, and little son John Patrick. Also the prospect of teaching, like the "vast country" itself, is "filled with possibilities." Together, Lucy and Josh deal with the challenges they face as newcomers in establishing a successful school in a hardworking but struggling community; handling violent kids "bred to showdowns"; the parade of itinerant down-and-outers needing hand-outs; and, along with everyone else, coping with bankruptcies and the casualties of the drought. But soon the Arnolds will be a welcome part of the community - with new friends and quilting and dances - until a tragedy ends a life and possibly a marriage. At the close, a tornado brings both death and new life. Simple, sweet, and appealing with home-folk verities. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jane Roberts Wood

Jane Roberts Wood received the Texas Institute of Letters award in 1998 for the Best Short Story, received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study at Yale, as well as a NEA Fellowship. A member of TIL and PEN, she lives with her husband, Dub, in Dallas, Texas.

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