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As the Earth Turns Paperback – July, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Blackberry; Reprint Edition edition (July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094239674X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942396744
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,409,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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4 star
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
This novel is a soothing and comforting story of farm family in Maine. The main character is Jen Shaw, a young woman lving with her family in a small community during the 1920's, I think.
This book is the Waltons meet Ethan Frome, depicting a year in the life of a family that more and more face the modern world of air planes, college educations, and city life.
The characaters are sympathetic, strong and human. The chronicle of farm living's chores, rituals, and tasks are fascinating.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite books. I have re-read it many times and always find something new to admire about it. Mrs. Carroll knows this life and it shows-her characters really live on the page. Jen Shaw and especially her father Mark are beautifully drawn. Mark may seem almost emotionless, but one comes to understand that he loves his children and farm too deeply to express by mere words. This is a way of life that may no longer exist, but I'm so glad that it was chronicled. Mrs. Carroll was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for "ATET" but lost to Pearl Buck's "The Good Earth". Her books are all written from her heart about the Maine she knew so well, and are worth checking out if you can find them. Youll be glad you did.
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book about real life, the way it was for so many of our ancestors who lived entirely off the land, and whose lives revolved around the seasons, and whose needs were few but joys were many -- this is it! The descriptions of the wildflowers, the new potatoes, the fresh strawberries -- the biscuits!!-- are vivid, and had me pining for a life I never had, since I am largely a city dweller.

The main character, Jen, stands as a bright image of womanhood that may, sadly, be gone in today's world. At 19 years of age, she is the main cook for a huge farm family, and this means preparing three big, nourishing, and delicious meals each day, all from freshly grown vegetables, homemade cream and butter, and whatever was "put up" in the basement for the winter. She is tireless, doing the cooking and the cleaning up, collecting greens and berries for the evening meal, baking luscious pies and cakes -- and tending to her brothers and sisters in a kind, upbeat fashion.

Whatever goes wrong -- and on a farm things always go wrong -- she accepts it quietly and courageously, whether it's a terrible snow storm, a family blow-up, or the sudden death of her brother's cow, which puts a huge dent in his finances. When a neighbor's child is seriously ill with croup, Jen goes to the house and knows exactly what steps to take to get the child on the mend.

This is a book without salacious sex scenes, and no violence at all, yet it is never sappy or sentimental. One problem with it: I couldn't put it down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this book was published over seventy years ago, the time frame doesn't detract from its reach and affirmation of the human condition. It tells in five sections (the fours seasons with winter repeated) of the Shaws' lives on a Maine farm. The heroine, Jen, is almost superhuman, unfortunately, but even so, the book is plainly written and positive throughout. I read it in two days (while working, too).

Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Although born in New Hampshire, Gladys Carroll spent most of her life in Maine (Berwick). Life in rural Maine communities was her major theme in her novels. In this book, her first, she writes about the Shaws, a farm family, and their trials and tribulations over the course of a year in the early 1920s. Her characters are well drawn and come to life.

She is often compared to Sarah Orne Jewett and Mary E. Wilkins, other Maine writers, but a better comparison would be to Mary Ellen Chase, a Maine novelist who is contemporary to Carroll and who also used similar settings to explore comparable themes. As late as the 1960s (I don't know about now), a play based on AS THE EARTH TURNS was performed every summer in Berwick. It was her most popular book, widely translated into other languages.
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