“Felicity rubbed a bit between her fingers. It was gray, just grit.”

Smiley3This is how the great-granddaughter of Iowa farmers Walter and Rosanna Langdon describes what’s left of the topsoil on the original family farm when she visits it in the closing pages of The Last Hundred Years Trilogy by Jane Smiley.  We can see the how this family’s decisions played out – as evidenced by the quality of their fields, their relationships, their contributions to society and to their professions. “There is a powerful sense of tragic legacies of character and obligation,” notes a British reviewer. I found the depth and scope of this trilogy fascinating, moving, surprising and rewarding.

Jane Smiley, Golden Age (New York: Anchor Books, first edition, 2016), 442.

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