Life in the American countryside, a bitter sweet ebook about human relationships
I have just finished reading Tom’s Wife, an ebook available from Amazon (see below for link) written by Alana Cash, and it turned out to be one of the best books I have read for quite some time.
You may have read her account of the problems she went through to publish this ebook, if not, follow the link to it below.
Set in the American countryside in an unspecified time, it is the story of Annie, a young woman married to a brutal miner/farmer, the Tom in the title, whose relationship is based on male supremacy and female servitude. On the face of it, not a subject that makes for happy reading, but in this book Alana has made her main characters so real that the complexities of human relationships bring it all into balance.
All the characters in this ebook are complex layered humans, no one is simply good or bad or in between, they are real, and show all those aspects in their personalities and actions. Annie, who on the face of it is the “good” one in the story, is basically a very honest young woman, yet she is prepared to cheat and lie if it helps her survive in her very difficult life, so she has a “bad” side too. Even Tom, who for the greater part is a brutal slob, has his moments of tenderness and uncertainty. It is this that appeals to me about this ebook, the people in it are all multilayered, and thus real, and interesting, as their reactions to events are not automatically defined by a two dimensional character, as is so often the case in books.
Another thing I liked about this book was that Alana didn’t waste time on setting the scene. We are never told which part of the USA, or even what period this book is set in. I guess it is in the 1930’s from internal evidence, but I am probably wrong, and it really isn’t important, as this is a book about people, and their lives, which are much the same whether it is 1936 Kansas or 2011 Kashkar.
In fact the entire ebook is really made up of conversations; there are very few descriptive passages in this ebook, which is a bit complicated for the first few pages, but once you are into the book it all flows very naturally and is perfectly understandable.
Alana has a nice way with words, and comes up with some wonderfully evocative phrases in this ebook, such as the following which I particularly liked. Annie is contemplating her cockerel mating with one of her hens, when the following thought occurred to her: Read full story »