Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
Some Luck
"Tremendous...It will be on the top of countless to-read lists." - Booklist
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

Created: 10/13/14

Replies: 7

Posted Oct. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

Expert

How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

How does Smiley use the children's points of view at all ages—including when they are very small—to show their development and coming-of-age in real time? What are some of the memorable traits that carry from infancy to young adulthood for each of the five children?


Posted Oct. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mystinamarie

Join Date: 12/19/12

Posts: 37

RE: How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

Honestly, I was not at all a fan of the children's story lines starting at infancy at first. It was frustrating to read the immature thought process of a baby with the knowledge and mindset of an adult. Something about it just seemed tedious and almost immature, like reading a school-aged picture book far below your reading level.
But eventually as the children started to age year by year it actually helped to seamlessly develop their character from infant to baby to toddler to child to teen to adult. You could look back and see that certain parts of their personality, or their sense of curiosity, or their temperament was shown (if only a glimpse) from the beginning and grew as they grew. It was a different way of "meeting" a character and truly watching them develop and grow. It was also insightful in showing how the siblings' relationships about (and towards) each other was formed and grew over the years. Often times in story telling we just see one side of a sibling relationship (like they get along, or they're really close, or they fight non-stop). This baby to adult process was interesting to see how some relationships seemed to be different right out of the womb and through very early play activities or teasing and bickering.


Posted Oct. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

Expert

RE: How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

I think that this is what I love about this book. Layer by layer, year by year, Jane Smiley builds a character. We become invested in each one and look forward to their story.


Posted Oct. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ssh

Join Date: 02/04/14

Posts: 9

RE: How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

This was a difficult structure for me to deal with. It left me with a sense of reading a fantasy book. Even with the aging of the characters, I could not get any sense of reality about the earlier baby perspectives.


Posted Oct. 19, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sherria

Join Date: 04/16/13

Posts: 15

RE: How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

I absolutely loved that about this novel--being able to see their world through their eyes(and hands and feet) brought such a brilliant sense of immediacy to the story that really, could have felt cold otherwise.

A few days after finishing Some Luck, I can still see in my mind the passage about Mary Elizabeth and her shoes--"The nearest of these were her own feet, stuck out in front of her, as they often were, pointing upward, and not appearing to wiggle, even though they felt like they were wiggling."

THAT is the Jane Smiley I love reading...


Posted Oct. 19, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosemaryk

Join Date: 08/29/11

Posts: 36

RE: How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

As someone else pointed out, at first--when the children were very small--it was kind of irritating. I really disliked the part when Frank was little. Fortunately, he didn't stay that way, and I got more into the plot.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 57

Expert

RE: How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

Looking at responses here was heartening to me because I wondered if I was the only reader who struggled initially with this text. It didn't grab me as I expected it would and now I think that perhaps the way many of you have described her character introduction and development may account for that. I, too, as most of you, soon found myself bound to them, however. As Joanp wrote - layer by layer, year by year - and the whole 100 year saga is what the author is after so clearly she is successful here.


Posted Oct. 23, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 90

Expert

RE: How does Smiley use the children's points of view to show their development in real time? What are some of their most memorable traits?

This worked well for me and helped show snippets of the kids before they were adults. I can see why this wouldn't be for everyone though since the book is sort of an old fashioned story and generally after a kid is born in a more traditional format we see a moment in childhood and then they are a young adult. I thought the point of view of the kids made them real and familiar long before in a book structured differently.


Reply

Please login to post a response.