Hannah Coulter Paperback – Illustrated, September 30, 2005
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About the Author
- Publisher : Shoemaker & Hoard (September 30, 2005)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 190 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1593760787
- ISBN-13 : 978-1593760786
- Item Weight : 11.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #25,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There is wisdom to be gained in reading this book, and any of the other Port William books. The characters are well defined, easy to like. I highly recommend these books to any and all.
If one reads "Hannah Coulter" simply for the language, which at times, is lyrical, it would be a pleasurable endeavor, but it is his ability to portray Hannah, the eponymous woman, as a young uncertain girl, an impassioned newlywed, a middle-aged mother, and a twice widowed 80-year old grandmother looking back on her life, reflecting on the losses, while remaining grateful and caring that makes this novel both endearing and enduring. Hannah is a woman you'll not soon forget, nor will you want to. Berry's social commentary, however, is not subtle, as he bemoans the loss of family life, the destruction of the environment, and the psychological and cultural effects of war.
At times you crave a bit more dialogue (because when the dialogue does come it's superb) and sometimes a little more action of some sort (any sort) wouldn't have gone amiss. But the warmth of relationships, the detail of character and the wonderful feeling for what humanity is are all worth patiently reading through.
I could have done without the details of Nathan's probable experience of the war; it comes very late in the book (even though we've been forewarned of it from the beginning), and seems to jar against the book's poise. It doesn't contribute greatly to the story, except I suppose to show that this man had such integrity he was able to hold all this inside him and not poison others with it.
Top reviews from other countries
It's a slow, sweet, sad and happy story of an old woman's life. She talks about what is important and what she learned over the years in regular family life.
I felt that even though the book is set a while ago. It's got wisdom for now. That life isn't always perfect. That sometimes it isn't perfect because of the choices we made.
It's a book full of wisdom and learning, and I want to read all of Wendell Berry's books now.