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Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
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Harvest Home (original 1973; edition 1974)

by Thomas Tryon

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5561117,948 (3.75)1 / 58
Member:SqueakyChu
Title:Harvest Home
Authors:Thomas Tryon
Info:Fawcett (1974), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:horror

Work details

Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon (1973)

  1. 20
    The Blood Harvest by Sharon Bolton (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Another horror story about strangers moving to an isolated town that practices old traditions.
  2. 00
    Children of the Corn by Stephen King (sturlington)
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An artist moves his family to a small Connecticut town, where he discovers horrific secrets behind the quaint harvest rituals.

Granted, Harvest Home is a schlocky horror novel published in the 1970s. However, the fear of women expressed in the novel, and the resulting hatred of them, is so palpable that reading it felt icky. I wanted to wash my hands each time I turned the page. The story presents women as unfathomable to men, and ultimately violent toward and oppressive of them. Women are linked to an ancient mother Earth force that imbues them with the power to do whatever they want, despite the objections of some of the male characters. One of the "horrors" of the story is when the male protagonist loses control over his wife and daughter, and they begin acting independently to fulfill their needs and desires. In this book, women are the “other,” portrayed as essentially different and opposed to men, wrong where men are right. This worldview just doesn't do it for me. Women are neither mysterious and unknowable goddesses, nor are they automatons only meant for sex, reproduction and raising children. Furthermore, the "twists" are completely predictable. This book was a disappointing follow-up to The Other.

Read for Thanksgiving 2014. ( )
  sturlington | Dec 3, 2014 |
What a horrifying story! What a great book!

This is the story of what awaits Ned Constantine, his wife Beth, and his daughter Kate after they leave urban life behind and move to the rural Connecticut town of Cornwall Coombe. Its population of individuals, most notably the herbalist Widow Fortune and the postal worker Tamar Penrose, carry out their ancient harvest traditions and festivals, having as their crescendo the rite of Harvest Home, an ancient secret ceremony celebrating the corn harvest and ritually symbolizing earthly renewal.

The characters of this story are positively creepy. It turns out that you can't tell the good guys from the bad guys (or gals). I really liked the main character Ned who was an artist. He, at first, saw the beauty of Cornwall Coombe and tried to capture it in his paintings. His intention was to make a better life for his family. Unfortunately, he didn't realize his mistake until too late.

If you love taut writing, unpredictable characters, small town settings, and unsettling scenes, you'll appreciate this book. if you have a queasy stomache for grizzly scenes, it might be better to just pass this book along to someone else who finds horror novels entertaining. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Nov 28, 2014 |
I loved it!!! Of course, I love everything Tom Tryon ever wrote. Does it still count? ( )
  annwieland | Oct 27, 2014 |
Turns out I love this genre to death, even though (just like The Wicker Man) I don't find the story particularly horrific when it's about bad things happening to a main character I just don't like very much. This is a fantastic book, though, and it's a tragedy it's out of print. ( )
1 vote jen.e.moore | Jul 30, 2014 |
An exquisite gothic horror story that taps into fertility cult rituals and neo-paganism prominent during the 70s to create a slow-burning but intense rural, gothic horror story. Lyrical and deeply descriptive, the novel demonstrates the author's knack for story-telling, and Tryon weaves a spell-binding but chilling tale. ( )
1 vote xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
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Epigraph
In Harvest-time, harvest folk
servants and all,
Should make all together
good cheer in the hall,
And fill the black bowl
Of blyth to their song,
And let them be merry,
all harvest-time long.

Thomas Tusser, Elizabethan farmer-poet
Dedication
This book is for Allen Leffingwell Vincent
First words
I awakened that morning to birdsong.
Quotations
Love the earth and it must love you back.
Thinking back from this day to that one nine months ago, I now imagine that bird to have been sounding a warning.
She pointed upward. "See that blue sky now, that's God's sky. And up there in that vasty blue is God. But see how far away He is. See how far the sky. And look here, at the earth, see how close, how abiding and faithful it is. See this little valley of ours, see the bountiful harvest we're to have. God's fine, but it's old Mother Earth that's the friend to man."
Harvest Home's when the last of the corn comes in, when the harvestin's done and folks can relax and count their blessin's. A time o' joy and celebration.
"A woman always thinks it takes two to keep a secret, but I'm here to say I think it takes one."
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Ned Constantine and his family abandon hectic New York for a tranquil New England village where they unknowingly become part of the secret Harvest Home ritual

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