Item description for The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings...
Overview A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet.
Publishers Description RELIVE THE WONDER OF A CHILDHOOD FAVORITE THAT HAS BEEN CAPTURING THE HEARTS OF READERS FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY. An instant bestseller when it was released in 1938, this Pulitzer Prize winner has been read and loved by school-age children across the nation for more than fifty years. In this classic story of the Baxter family and their wild, hard, and satisfying life in remote central Florida, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings has written one of the great novels of our times. A rich and varied tale -- tender in its understanding of boyhood, crowded with the excitement of the backwoods hunt, with vivid descriptions of the primitive, beautiful hammock country, written with humor and earthy philosophy -- "The Yearling" is a novel for readers of all ages. Its glowing picture of a life refreshingly removed from modern patterns of living is universal in its revelation of simple courageous people and the beliefs they must live by. This edition, complete with a new introduction by author Ivan Doig, will be cherished for years to come and will make a welcome addition to any booklover's shelf.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 02/15/2005 page 173
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.01" Width: 5.35" Height: 1.04" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Apr 2, 2002
ISBN 0743225252 ISBN13 9780743225250
Availability 0 units.
More About Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953) lived for 25 years in Cross Creek, Florida, the area that is the setting for "The Yearling," She is the author of several earlier novels as well as a memoir, "Cross Creek," which inspired the acclaimed motion picture of the same name.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was born in 1896 and died in 1953.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Yearling?
A simple yet penetrating glimpse into the world of boyhood innocence. Oct 15, 2007
In past reviews, people have speculated that if The Yearling were to have been published in today's times, would it still have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. For me, I would have to say that that would be a resounding yes. I say so because the novel captures, with vivid simplicity, a bygone American era via the stark usage of the literaty resources available to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings at the time, quite simply, the values, environment and language which surrounded her. Being the excellent and astute writer that she was, she transposed those raw yet natural elements to her characters, specificially the gruff yet loving Baxter clan.
In a time where people are adrift due to the constant onslaught of materialism, celebrity, technology, vanity, money, you name it, the Baxter clan are a refreshing anomaly, for all of the above was not really available to them, and if it was, it was to a very limited degree. But because of that humbling deprivation, they as a family and individualistically speaking, were interiorily richer in so many different capacities. Their lessons came from the law of the land, the primal yet earthy philosophy of kill or be killed. But it was also a deep almost religious respect of the land and its animals that could definitely shape the thinking and the ever evolving twists and turns that are in abundance in The Yearling. Ezra Baxter-Jody's father-to some extent, could be considered as the Atticus Finch of the Florida backwoods, for he respects the codes that govern the wilderness and for the wild animals who occupy it. And thus, he kills only when necessary; he imbues that code of ethics in Jody who is of a tremendously malleable age, especially by the Forrester family and their sometimes less-than-stellar behavior.
The novel is about being a boy, about growing up and about sacrifice, and when Jody, a lone child, adopts a fawn whom he names Flag, the emptiness of being a lone child abates; the fawn, a cherished pet, is a co-experiencer with Jody of the highs and lows of living in the scrub country, and he is there for Jody's various milestones, his inching along toward the tower of manhood. But sometimes just doing the day-to-day obligations of life is simply not enough. Sometimes one has to go beyond what is expected, and the latter half of the book illustrates that sacrifice entails pain, large or small, for real love sometimes does hurt. The Yearling is pungent, pure, simple, true and very very giving, absolutely worthy of the 1939 Pulitzer Prize.
Classic love story of the South (not "Gone With the Wind") Oct 6, 2007
This is one of my favorite books ever written! Maybe it's one of those sentimental things, but I suppose the best books are sentimental. And let's face it, any person that dares roll their eyes at the love between a human and an animal clearly is not a pet owner. It's a bond, true and simple, and Ms. Rawlings does an excellent job of combining that fact with a powerful story of the rough world of the backwoods and the human relationship with nature.
The idea is pretty simple--a boy finds an abandoned fawn an raises it as a pet--sort of like a dog. Jody is an awkward kid in ways that modern teen angst writers will never quite capture, a boy trapped between childhood and manhood (yeah, it's coming-of-age, but it is a classic scenario that will never die!) living in poverty with a family he doesn't quite understand and who in return don't quite understand him. This deer, this yearling, is something of his refuge.
Beyond this basic story is a collage of subplots that intertwine themselves in a believable, honest manner that relies in equal parts on character, plot, and fate without ever feeling contrived.
Rawlings' writing might bother some people, but it's no different from what plenty of other authors have done in a magical attempt to capture the way people talk. It's quirky, enchanting, and absolutely descriptive in setting and emotion.
The story of a boy and his pet deer instead of a dog. Why not?
Outstanding! Aug 21, 2007
I was blown away by Rawlings amazing writing, and beautiful voice. I being a 13 year old that hates to read, found myself enjoying this book. I was amazed by the way Rawlings captured your heart with her in-depth descriptions of the character's feelings.
The only critisism I have is that the middle became to be a bit dragged out, and boring. She seemed to repeat herself, and the hunting scenes were a bit redundant.
I would suggest this book to ANYONE that can read, no matter their age.
One my lifetime favorites May 29, 2007
I recently re-read this book after many years, having first read it when I was only ten years old. So moved by this story, even at that age, I knew that I was destined to become a writer myself.
Set in the Florida backcountry during the Post Civil War years, it is essentially a coming of age story about a twelve year old boy whose family is struggling daily just to survive. The difficulty in tending their meager crops and few livestock against harsh weather and predacious bears seems alien in our world today, yet was very real not so long ago. For me, it is the wonderfully descriptive prose that captured my soul. Every smell, the warmth of the sun, the sound of pattering rain, even the thrill of the hunt are written in such vivid colorful imagery that one feels drawn into these pages. As so with Jody's loneliness and isolation. His only friend is Fodderwing, a crippled boy who lives miles away, and his only pet is the family dog, who is loyal to no one but Jody's father, yet is too old to romp like a pup anyway. With the fawn coming into his life, he has a changed perspective. Jody is a little boy with a new friend and something to be responsible for, but most of all, something to call his own. Unfortunately, and as in most cases, trying to tame a wild animal ends up in tragedy, and twice in this story the reader faces along with Jody, the inescapable heartbreak that comes from having lost someone or something near and dear. The final result is that we witness his transformation to manhood.
Miss Rawlings must also be commended for the way her characters are developed. Simple yet thorough, by the time she's finished with each, it is as if you have known that person your entire life.
Probably for me, what drew such a strong connection to this book was the fact that I could find many parallels to the difficult life of my own maternal grandparents. Although they lived in the forest and prairie of Central Illinois, their speech was similar, and they endured much of the same hardships. Fortunately, because of their grown children and a successful, adult grandchild, most of that was behind them by the time I came along. Still, I understood what they had gone through to raise three kids on a small plot of ground miles from town, with no running water or electricity. Like Jody in this story, his boyish behavior of running off to the woods all day to play and explore was much like how I remember my time visiting the grandparent's farm. The same with my brothers and cousins.
I suppose this is considered a children's book, but I recommend it for everyone. Take the time to enjoy this wonderful story. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
James Hart Isley Author of The Bear Hunter
Life knocks a man down Aug 8, 2006
An incomparable story of growth and survival in the most difficult conditions. The Yearling, set in the scrubland of northern Florida a couple of decades after the Civil War, is the story of the Baxter family: little "Penny" Baxter, the father, a saintly figure who is wise, understanding, kind, brave, dutiful, stoic; Ory, the mother, whose essential goodness has been buried to some degree by endless toil and the death of several babies; and Jody, who is about 12 when the story begins, a good-natured sprite for whom nature is benevolent and everything is to be explored.
The Baxters live some 15 miles from the nearest town and four miles from their nearest neighbors, the Forresters, a family of massive sons who are variously good hearted and murderous drunks. In this environment, the little Baxter family scratches out its existence.
Two themes predominate: the loss of childhood innocence and Implacable Nature. The latter is depicted in a variety of ways: a legendary maurauding bear that is seemingly impossible to kill; a pack of hungry wolves several dozen strong; a flood that destroys everything in its path and leaves the plague in its wake; a terrible poisonous snake that threatens the life of one of the characters. In this unforgiving environment, Penny forges ahead at all times, hunting and farming to provide for his little brood, rarely at a loss despite the continual setbacks that afflict "Baxter's Island," the small territory that the family owns.
It's not all harshness, however. Moments of beauty break through at intervals, particularly when father and son are off on a leisurely hunt. There is often a great reverence shown for flowers, trees, waterways, birds, animals, and the landscape as a whole. A lovely character named Fodder-wing (of the Forrester clan) has a whole backwoods menagerie, one that young Jody would duplicate were it not for opposition from his mother, who knows all too well the trouble that animals can cause once they have grown to maturity.
The consolation prize for Jody is Flag, a fawn that he claims after its mother has been killed. Jody loves Flag as much as any 12-year-old boy in the world today loves his dog--much more, really, since it is the only thing in the world that is exclusively his.
Over the course of a year, Jody lives through all the terrors that nature--and, sometimes, man--can inflict and prepares, unknowingly, to eventually take over Penny's role as provider for the family. In the opening chapter, Jody has a particularly fine time off on his own, in the woods, and when it is over he cannot sleep because "a mark was on him from the day's delight, so that all his life, when April was a thin green and the flavor of rain was on his tongue, an old wound would throb and a nostalgia would fill him for something he could not quite remember." It is the last full day of his childhood innocence.
By the end, when events have taken their difficult course, it is Penny who must counsel Jody and explain how he wanted to spare Jody as long as he could from the rigors of adulthood. He explains, "A man's heart aches, seein' his young uns face the world. Knowin' they got to git their guts tore out, the way his was tore. I wanted to spare you, long as I could. I wanted you to frolic with your yearlin'." But, as he points out, life knocks you down, and when you get up, it knocks you down again. "What's he to do then? What's he to do when he gits knocked down? Why, take it for his share and go on." And Jody understands and takes up his new responsbility, to himself and to his family.
I haven't conveyed in this short review the brilliance of the descriptions of the landscape and all it contains, the richness of the many characters who populate the book, or the excitement of the twists and turns that befall the characters--but it's all there. I will close by saying that although The Yearling is catgorized as a sort of children's book, it is one that adult lovers of literature would enjoy; moreover, it would be difficult to read for those under the age of 15, I would think.
Also, for those considering reading this book to their children, as I just did, keep in mind that it's not for the squeamish. As Penny says, and as the book reveals, "You've seed how things goes in the world o' men. You've knowed men to be low-down and mean. You've seed ol' Death at his tricks. You've messed around with ol' Starvation. Ever' man wants life to be a fine thing, and a easy. 'Tis fine, boy, powerful fine, but 'tain't easy."