I underlined half the book and cried many times. Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs. Darcy puts this title in the “books to read when you feel like the world is falling apart” category and I wholeheartedly agree. In a way it reads like poetry as Wendell tells the story of Hannah, her husband Nathan, and the rest of the Port William membership. There are a handful of books set in this same town including Nathan Coulter, Jayber Crow, and Andy Catlett. The only other I’ve read is Jayber Crow which is also very, very good. Wendell Berry’s fiction isn’t super action packed but it is full of beautiful words about life and why it’s worth living.
Instead of writing a super long synopsis of this book, I thought it would be fitting to share one of my favorite passages about the change of seasons.
“You think winter will never end, and then, when you don’t expect it, when you have almost forgotten it, warmth comes and a different light. Under the bare trees the wildflowers bloom so thick you can’t walk without stepping on them. The pastures turn green and the leaves come.
You look around presently, and it is summer. It has been dry awhile maybe, and now it has rained. The world is so full and abundant it is like a pregnant women carrying a child in one arm and leading another by the hand. Every puddle in the lane is ringed with sipping butterflies that fly up in a flutter when you walk past in the late morning on your way to get the mail.
And then it is fall and the cornfields are ripe and the calves are fat and shiny and the wooded valley sides are beautiful with color. The sun is bright, the air clear, and the shadows dark. There is the feeling of completion and storing up and getting ready.
You have consented to time and it is winter. The country seems bigger, for you can see through the bare trees. There are times when the woods is absolutely still and quiet. The house holds warmth. A wet snow comes in the night and covers the ground and clings to the trees, making the whole world white. For a while in the the morning the world is perfect and beautiful. You think you will never forget.”
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