Set among the women of a remote Alpine village, this novel spans most of the 20th century and puts at the heart of each chapter a different woman, at a point in her life when her long-suppressed desire of anger or jealousy flares briefly into vivid life.Set among the women of a remote Alpine village, this novel spans most of the 20th century and puts at the heart of each chapter a different woman, at a point in her life when her long-suppressed desire of anger or jealousy flares briefly into vivid life.Read Less
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Lippi won a well deserved PEN/Hemingway Award for Homestead. Described as a novel, Homestead seems to fall somewhere between a collection of short stories and a novel. The book tells the stories of the women of a fictional small Austrian Alpine village and manages to span 68 years in 195 pages. Each chapter tells the story of a different woman, and as the book progresses we see how things have turned out for the women who were only girls in the previous chapter.
According to her introduction, Lippi wrote the book after spending time in Austria and talking to the women there, and though this is a work of fiction one can almost hear these women telling the stories that defined their lives from the opening chapter with the arrival of a mysterious postcard and its beguiling promise of a different and exciting life to the stories of women working hard to make a go of their farm when times are tough and, of course, so many stories of wartime losses and hardships.
The women in the fictional village of Rosenau live their lives in quiet obscurity, but Lippi captures this way of life showing both how much things changed for these women during the tumultuous twentieth century and also how very little changed. Written in a clear, simple style that echoes the starkness of life in the Alps, Homestead is a beautiful and poetic book.
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