Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and informative, November 21, 2006
This review is from: Shade of the Raintree: The Life and Death of Ross Lockridge, Jr. (Hardcover)
I tend to shy away from reading biographies written by family members of the subject, fearing the author's lack of objectivity. But having just read Raintree County on Sept 26, I decided to read this work by Ross Lockridge, Jr.'s son. That was a wise decision. I think the book is made better by the family insight which Larry Lockridge brings to the book, even though he was only five at the time of his father's death. The book is very well researched--probably better than it would have been if written by some unrelated author. And it is just as well written as it is researched, with it being clear that the author is an able and skilled writer. The reader gets caught up in the actually very impressive story, which goes thru the life of Ross Lckridge, Jr., in fascinating detail from his earliest years, thru his brilliant career at Indiana University (he amassed the highest grade score ever earned at the University), his time in Europe, his marriage to the love of his life on July 11, 1937, his teaching years, the writing of the book which has earned him a unique place in America's literary canon, and the fearsome events after the book was finished and when it was published. The account of the final months of the life made understandable to me what I had hitherto deemed inexplicable--that Ross Lockridge, Jr., should take his own life when his book was garnering nationwide attention. I am confident that anyone who reads Raintree County will be enriched by reading this excellent biography while the novel is still fresh in the reader's mind.
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