Follow the Life of an American Farm Family in “Some Luck”

Follow the Life of an American Farm Family in “Some Luck”

Jane Smiley’s novel Some Luck follows an American farm family over the course of three generations and explores the encroaching effect of urbanization on the family’s way of life.

Walter and Rosanna Langdon run a farm in Denby, Iowa and have tried to pass on their generations-old ideals to their five children:  stubborn Frank, animal-loving Joe, the angelic Lillian, Henry the bookworm, and Claire, who is a true “Daddy’s girl.” Smiley allows her you to get an intimate look at the Langdon family’s triumphs and sorrows as each of the five children grow up in the first half of the 20th century and struggle to come to terms with the monumental changes that are occurring in society.

She also turns a keen eye and describes the hardships of American farm life in perfect detail, making sure that her readers understand how the threat of urbanization turned the lives of farmers like Langdon upside down in both the Great Depression and post-World War I America. Smiley keeps her readers on their toes as they become engulfed in the passions and troubles of each member of the Langdon family, which will keep you engrossed until the very last page.

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