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So Big by Edna Ferber

So Big (1924)

by Edna Ferber

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Fantastic book taking you back to ghe 1890's and an unforgettable character named Selina. Pulitzer prize winner of 1924. Against all odds and much fortuitous intervention Selina triumphs over adversity in her simple quest to find beauty in all life's adventures. Strongly recommended. Themes transcend time. ( )
  Alphawoman | Jun 30, 2015 |
Very good story about a mother and her son. Easy read. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
On Sept. 2, 1946 I said: "Finished 'So Big'. Very dumb book." ( )
  Schmerguls | Oct 9, 2013 |
Orphaned at age 19 in the late 1800′s, Selina accepts a job as a school teacher in the community of New Holland. Even though New Holland is only a few hours drive by wagon to her former life in Chicago, Selina is not prepared for the shock of living in the tiny, conservative truck-farming community. The grinding work and poverty take a toll on even the hardiest of souls. Determined to continue finding beauty in life and learning, Selina throws herself into her teaching, and later into her family farm. When her son, Dirk, “SoBig” DeJong is born, Selina promises herself that he will not be bound to the farm, and that he will have every opportunity that she herself lost. This is a rich novel, with much to discuss and analyze. I was most struck by how Selina lost every privilege, and yet didn’t lose hope, either for herself or her child. Dirk’s response at being given every opportunity would also be worthy of discussing. ( )
  rapikk | Feb 6, 2012 |
The story follows Selina DeJong whose father was a gambler and killed by mistake.

Selina was only nineteen at the time and surprised her friends by not moving to Vermont to live with her aunts. Instead, she shows her independence and determination to succeed on her own. She gets a job as a teacher in the Dutch school in High Plains, ten miles outside of Chicago.

At her first social event, she prepares a basket and places it in a box, tied by a ribbon.

Most of the Dutch women make harty meals and the idea is the men bid on the item and get to eat it with the woman who prepared the food.

The auctioneer ridicules Selina's small item but the men start bidding and one farmer wins with an exorbitant price. Pervus DeJong tells her that he felt badly when the others began laughing. He also admits that he has no schooling. Selina offers to teach him.

During these lessons, Purvis receives book learning and Selina learns about the farm life. They develop feelings toward each other and these very different people marry the next May.

The author details the hardships of farming before the turn of the century when there were no tractors or automobiles to get farm goods to markets or no telephones in emergencies.

When Selina's son, Dirk, is born, she wants to make sure he will grow up in a world of books and literature and have more from his life.

The author also describes the progress and improvements as the new century comes in. Dirk grows older and maintains a loving relationship with Selina and fits into the soceity in Chicago.

This is a well written novel in the realistic literary style and deserving of the Pulitzer Prize it won in 1924. ( )
  mikedraper | Aug 2, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edna Ferberprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rogers, HowardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Until he was almost ten the name stuck to him. He had literally to fight his way free of it. From So Big (of fond and infantile derivation) it had been condensed into Sobig. And Sobig DeJong, in all its consonantal disharmony, he had remained until he was a ten-year-old schoolboy in that incredibly Dutch district southwest of Chicago known first as New Holland and later as High Prairie. At ten, by dint of fists, teeth, copper-toed boots, and temper, he earned the right to be called by his real name, Dirk DeJong. Now and then, of course, the nickname bobbed up and had to be subdued inn a brief and bitter skirmish. His mother, with whom the name had originated, was the worst offender. When she lapsed he did not, naturally, use school-yard tactics on her. But he sulked and glowered portentously and refused to answer, though her tone, when she called him So Big, would have melted the heart of any but that natural savage, a boy of ten.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060956690, Paperback)

Winner of the 1924 Pulitzer Prize, So Big is widely regarded as Edna Ferber's crowning achievement. A rollicking panorama of Chicago's high and low life, this stunning novel follows the travails of gambler's daughter Selina Peake DeJong as she struggles to maintain her dignity, her family, and her sanity in the face of monumental challenges.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A rollicking panarama of Chicago's high and low life, this stunning novel follows the travails of gambler's daughter Selina Peake DeJong as she struggles to maintain her dignity, her family, and her sanity in the face of monumental challenges.

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