St Luke's Lutheran Book Club
The book club at St. Luke's Lutheran Church is reading a trilogy by Conrad Richter called The Awakening Land. These books of fiction which take place on the frontier of the Northwest Territory in what is now Ohio were written much earlier than
The Pioneers by David McCullough. The Book Club is reading The Trees (1940) and The Fields (1946) for the Book Club meeting March 25. The third book in the trilogy, The Town (1950) will be discussed on May 27th. This last book received
the 1951 Puliter Prize for Fiction. Book Club meets every other month on the last Wednesday at 1:00 P.M. All are welcome.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Awakening Land trilogy by Conrad Richter is a series of three novels that explore the lives of a white American frontier family in the Ohio Valley from the late 18th century to the middle of the 19th. The series consists of The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), and The Town (1950); the third novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1951. These works established Richter as a major novelist of historical fiction.
The Awakening Land trilogy was first issued in a single hardcover volume in September 1966, by Alfred A. Knopf. The trilogy was adapted as a United States TV miniseries by the same name, produced in 1978. The three novels were reissued in paperback in 1991 by Ohio University Press, and also in 2017 by Chicago Review Press.
The Trees (1940) introduces the Luckett family, who emigrate from Pennsylvania to the Ohio Valley wilderness about 1795, after the American Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States of America. Told mostly from the point of view of the eldest daughter, Sayward, the novel explores how the family carves a homestead from the forest, suffering losses and hardships along the way.
The Fields (1946) follows Sayward in her marriage to Portius Wheeler, a pioneer from the East. They raise a family of nine children together, although Portius also fathers a daughter, Rosa Tench, by another woman. The family and community continue to clear more trees in order to expand their area for farming and to make way for new dwellings. The Wheeler homestead becomes the nucleus of a settlement called Moonshine Church.
The Town (1950) continues the story of Sayward’s family. She witnesses the transformation of the settlement into a modern industrialized town called Americus. Her family moves into a refined, large house in town. Many of the chapters in The Town are told from the point of view of Sayward’s youngest son, Chancey, who becomes a journalist and represents the rising post-frontier town and city generation of the 19th century.