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The Dollmaker by Harriette Simpson Arnow
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The Dollmaker (1954)

by Harriette Simpson Arnow

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5732024,544 (4.07)54
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» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
came in the mail yesterday. it is really a good book to read. a must read for everyone ( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 6, 2016 |
came in the mail yesterday. it is really a good book to read. a must read for everyone ( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 2, 2016 |
"In the end they all...most...adjust"
By sally tarbox on 1 Dec. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A beautiful and heart wrenching novel: it opens with Gertie Nevels, a tough hillbilly woman, taking her sick child to hospital. Unafraid to perform surgery on him to save his life, or to force a reluctant army officer to give them a lift, Gertie seems in control of her life - not least her plans to purchase their own farm in her beloved Kentucky with her secret savings, once her husband is called up to fight in WW2.

But when her husband is sent instead to work in a Detroit factory, Gertie bows to the pressure of those around her to join her man, and she and her children find themselves in one of the overcrowded and slumlike 'projects'.
Gertie, the 'dollmaker' of the title, seeks release from her surroundings by losing herself in her woodcarving; the creation of a figure of Christ slowly takes shape throughout the novel, despite her family's pressure to turn out cheap, tawdry dolls on a jig-saw, to make a few dollars.
How the family make out in this vastly different environment, where war takes lives but simultaneously guarantees jobs; where different religions and races are brought together; where the beauties of nature are far removed from the furnaces of the steel mills, makes for an unforgettable novel. The unexpected ending really left me reeling. ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
If anybody has a copy they want to trade with me. This one is nearly 20 dollars for just the ebook which I think is outrageous.
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
One of th every few books I never finished because the characters made me too angry. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
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Dock's shoes on the rocks up the hill and his heavy breathing had shut out all sound so that it seemed a long while she had heard nothing, and Amos lay too still, not clawing at the blanket as when they had started.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060529342, Paperback)

Strong-willed, self-reliant Gertie Nevels's peaceful life in the Kentucky hills is devastated by the brutal winds of change. Uprooted from her backwoods home, she and her family are thrust into the confusion and chaos of wartime Detroit. And in a pitiless world of unendurable poverty, Gertie will battle fiercely and relentlessly to protect those things she holds most dear -- her children, her heritage . . . and her triumphant ability to create beauty in the suffocating shadow of ugliness and despair.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Gertie, a naive newcomer from Kentucky, develops a unique defense against the ugliness and despair of the city.

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