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The Excellent Lombards
by Jane Hamilton


Overview - "This is the book Jane Hamilton was born to write... it is] magnificent." - Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth
"Everything you could ask for in a coming-of-age novel-- funny, insightful, observant, saturated with hope and melancholy." - Tom Perotta, author of Little Children and The Leftovers
"Tender, eccentric, wickedly funny and sage...gives full voice to Jane Hamilton's storytelling gifts." - Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank and Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Mary Frances "Frankie" Lombard is fiercely in love with her family's sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it.
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More About The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton
 
 
 
Overview
"This is the book Jane Hamilton was born to write... it is] magnificent." - Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth
"Everything you could ask for in a coming-of-age novel-- funny, insightful, observant, saturated with hope and melancholy." - Tom Perotta, author of Little Children and The Leftovers
"Tender, eccentric, wickedly funny and sage...gives full voice to Jane Hamilton's storytelling gifts." - Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank and Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Mary Frances "Frankie" Lombard is fiercely in love with her family's sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it. Content to spend her days planning capers with her brother William, competing with her brainy cousin Amanda, and expertly tending the orchard with her father, Frankie desires nothing more than for the rhythm of life to continue undisturbed. But she cannot help being haunted by the historical fact that some family members end up staying on the farm and others must leave. Change is inevitable, and threats of urbanization, disinheritance, and college applications shake the foundation of Frankie's roots. As Frankie is forced to shed her childhood fantasies and face the possibility of losing the idyllic future she had envisioned for her family, she must decide whether loving something means clinging tightly or letting go. A new classic from the author of Oprah's Book Club picks A Map of the World and The Book of Ruth.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781455564224
  • ISBN-10: 1455564222
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publish Date: April 2016
  • Page Count: 288


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Family Life
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

A touching ode to life on the farm

Mary Frances Lombard—known as Frankie—has found her paradise. The 400 acres of the Lombard apple orchard are where she plans to be for the rest of her life. Like her father, she will quiet the wind and “outwit a storm”; she will make hay; she will grow apples; she will marry her brother William and together “carry on the business” forever.

In this way, Jane Hamilton (The Book of Ruth) introduces us to the fierce child narrator of her latest work, The Excellent Lombards. Frankie’s fantasy is silly, we know that. Nevertheless, Hamilton uses exaggerated, territorial and overly emotional kid-logic to great effect to make sure the reader is on Frankie’s side, and feeling her pain, even if it is with a chuckle. We follow her over the years, as reality slowly creeps into the black-and-white world inside the boundaries of the orchard. We see various grown-up experiences and tragedies—running a business, keeping peace in the family, even the 9/11 terrorist attacks—all through the self-centeredness of a child’s perspective, making them tender and often funny.

If, like me, you occasionally suffer from the affliction of wanting to live on a farm, then The Excellent Lombards is for you. But even if you don’t share that fantasy, this coming-of-age story is captivating and passionate, taking us back to being a child and believing in one thing wholeheartedly. Simply put, this is a book you won’t be able to put down.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews