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God's Little Acre Audio CD – 1998
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|Audio CD, 1998||
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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Abridged 3 hours in length. Ty Ty Walden is a Georgia farmer who suffers a severe case of gold fever. "If youhad the fever," he tells Pluto Swint, "you wouldn't have time for nothing else.... It gets a man just like liquor does, or chasing women...
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So Ty Ty Walden has been digging up his farm looking for gold for fifteen years with the help of his boys Buck and Shaw. His other son, Jim Leslie (a cotton broker) left a long time ago to marry a rich girl and live in a big white house on a hill in the city. Ty Ty has two d**kies (the author’s words, not mine), Black Sam and Uncle Felix, planting cotton on a small parcel of the land (they also dig when not plowing). On page thirteen, Ty Ty tells Pluto Swint, who is running for sheriff, about the one acre he has set aside, “You see that piece of ground over yonder, Pluto? Well, that’s God’s little acre. I set aside an acre of this place, and every year I give the church all that comes off that acre of ground. If it’s cotton, I give the church all the money the cotton brings at market. The same with hogs, when I raised them, and about corn, too, when I plant it. That’s God’s little acre, Pluto. I’m proud to divide what little I have with God.” Unfortunately, Ty Ty hasn’t planted or raised anything on that acre for many years. And he keeps moving the acre around when he decides to dig there. Most of his farm is pock marked with giant holes and high piles of dirt and clay.`Ty Ty’s daughter, Darling Jill is a real looker, while Buck’s Wife, Griselda, is considered the prettiest girl in the county. A third daughter, Rosamond, lives in Carolina with her husband, Will, in a cotton mill town. Buck hates Will and calls him a lint-head, because cotton mill workers always have residue cotton fibers in their hair. Will and his co-workers have been on strike against the mill for eighteen months. The entire Walden family (except Jim Leslie) are dirt poor.
Pluto, who loves Darling Jill, tells Ty Ty that a albino man has been spotted near the swamp. The d**kies say that an all-white man can divine (locate) a lode. They believe in the power of conjuring. Ty Ty and his boys drive to the swamp in hopes of capturing the all-white man. They capture the albino in his house by the swamp and bring him back to the farm. Sometimes this novel makes me laugh (it’s not supposed to). Uncle Felix keeps guard on Dave, the albino, but he really doesn’t have to since Dave has eyes for Darling Jill. So funny (this novel isn’t a comedy, but sometimes it seemed like one). The next day, Pluto ask Ty Ty, “Did he divine for you, Ty Ty?” “Just like four and four makes eight,” Ty Ty said. “When we got him here and told him what he was to do, why the first thing he did was to point out that spot where the new hole is now. He said that was the place to dig for the lode. And that’s where it is.” There is a lot of excitement in the ensuing pages. Who has sex with who? Who or how many in the family will die or be murdered? How about the cotton mill strike? Does Ty Ty find his gold? This was a great story of the final decline of a poor white family in rural Georgia that had me hooked from page one to the last few pages, which were fateful or fatal...depending on who the character was.
This story is about poorly educated individuals in a family doing what they can to survive in the world while living in abject poverty in a remote area of Georgia during The Great Depression. They are desperate, starving, nearing hopelessness, fairly helpless and ill-equipped to solve their own problems.
The patriarch, Ty Ty, was from an era where many people believed one didn’t need a good deal of education to be a farmer. The Great Depression tore that world apart. Given the fact most people of that time never traveled far from home and the area was quite remote and isolated, he likely felt his options were few. Since gold had been found in the area near him, he felt the best way to provide for his family was to find gold on his property. In spite of his failed efforts, he was able to maintain his optimism and he definitely displayed a great deal of tenacity.
The various cast of characters includes Ty's sons, one of whom is married to a great beauty, Grizelda. Every man who sees Grizelda for the first time can only gaze upon her beauty. Then there is Ty's daughter, Darling Jill, who has been stringing along a local politician, Pluto, promising to marry him. Ty will do just about anything to continue digging his land for gold. This includes acting as a pimp when a rich son who wants nothing to do with Ty's schemes, sets his eyes on Grizelda. He practically assures the son that he can make Grizelda sleep with him for a loan of a couple of hundred dollars. When Ty and his sons kidnap an albino from deep in the swamps, because local legend has it that an albino can divine gold under the ground, Ty doesn't stop Darling Jill from working her magic on the poor albino.
What is fascinating about Caldwell's characters is their unabashed enthusiasm in pursuing their goals. Nothing will stop Ty from discovering gold on his property, just as nothing will stop the sons and a son-in-law from warring with each other over women.
Another undiscovered classic from a great author. Highly recommended!
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Pray God you never have to live it.