Friday, June 1, 2012

Book Beginnings: Rawlings' The Yearling

"A column of smoke rose thin and straight from the cabin chimney. The smoke was blue where it left the red of the clay. It trailed into the blue of the April sky and was no longer blue but gray. The boy Jody watched it, speculating."

It's been years since I read this book -- I was maybe 10 or 12 last time -- and I have a feeling I'm going to appreciate it that much more this time through.

Rawlings based the locales of this book on real places about 60 miles from where I now live. She used accurate details, but changed the place names, just as she based her story and characters on real events and real people, changing their names, too. Among the trails in the Ocala National Forest is one that helps the visitor see and understand the places Rawlings described.

When I finish reading, surely the next step will be to go there. A literary road trip sounds like a great idea right about now!

Want more first lines and first reactions? Visit Book Beginnings every Friday at Rose City Reader, where bookish folks record and write about the first sentence (or so) of what they're reading.


  1. I like reading books set in places I've lived in or visited. And I love the idea of a literary road trip.

  2. I have never read this! I always thought it would be too sad.

  3. Amy, I agree -- with a vacation ahead, I'm trying to decide whether to run away to the beach or go on a Rawlings walkabout.

    Rose City, it's such an important Florida novel, I can't miss it. But I will keep a box of tissues handy.


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