#EPUB ⚡ The Gravedigger's Daughter ê eBook or E-pub free

This was my necessary breezy read after the last one It s the second thing I ve read by this author, who seems to be really well appreciated by the world, but I am still ambivalent about her work It is easy to get into but also easy to fall right back out of I guess that s what I will say She is very prolific, though it could be that I m just reading the wrong things This one is about a woman who has a really hard childhood and young adulthood and gets a lot of abuse, and then she goes on and makes a life for herself by having this kind of double identity and smiling a lot and never trusting anybody There are some interesting things about immigration, and maybe gender, the holocaust Once again, I must diverge from the critics who loved this Joyce Carol Oates novel Apparently I didn t learn my lesson with We Were the Mulvaneys I don t know where to start, so I ll just list the major problems a bloated and disjointed narrative, overwrought prose, and a nonsensical epilogue Good times #EPUB ç The Gravedigger's Daughter ⚜ Fleeing Nazi Germany In , The Schwarts Immigrate To A Small Town In Upstate New York Here The Father A Former High School Teacher Is Demeaned By The Only Job He Can Get Gravedigger And Cemetery Caretaker When Local Prejudice And The Family S Own Emotional Frailty Give Rise To An Unthinkable Tragedy, The Gravedigger S Daughter, Rebecca Heads Out Into America Embarking Upon An Extraordinary Odyssey Of Erotic Risk And Ingenious Self Invention, She Seeks Renewal, Redemption, And Peace On The Road To A Bittersweet And Distinctly American Triumph I guess I liked this book, but reading it once is plenty for me It was very well written, but I just could not handle how ungodly depressing it was Honestly, the main character can t seem to go ten pages without getting the shit kicked out of her literally and figuratively by all the Mean Bad Men in her life First there s her father, who goes apeshit when his daughter dares to enter a spelling bee I still don t get that then there s her husband, who chooses beating the shit out of her as an acceptable courtship ritual and then there s the guy she meets after leaving the husband, who never really did anything to her but creeped me out none the less This book is basically a manual on Why Life Sucks For Everyone, and the worst part is, it doesn t even have an ending You know those books that just stop That s what The Gravedigger s Daughter does, and it is irritating Fun Fact I read the majority of this book on a 9 hour plane ride, and by doing so discovered a fun challenge trying to read a book about how evil and crazy men are while 27 Dresses plays on the video screen directly above your line of vision Looking up from my book about spousal abuse and depression, I would watch Katherine Heigal prancing around onscreen with James Marsden and all I could think was, You stupid bitch, get away from him while you still can He will get jealous and paranoid and the next thing you know, he s kicking you in the face for asking where he was all night. Raw and gritty and saucy and rich And tremulous And reflective And melancholy The prose of life, of American life Of a woman, told by a woman After this book I want to read everything Joyce Carol Oates has ever written. A character s worst fear should be to appear in a Joyce Carol Oates novel It s pretty well guaranteed his or her like is going to suck.Still, though, I keep picking them up And as decently written as they may be, I m miserable right along with everyone else There s never a glimmer of hope, a break from the compounding gloom As a reader, the weight lands firmly on your shoulders for the length of the book Join us for a walk of pain.Gravedigger s Daughter is no exception I felt for the protagonist, I did I was proud to watch her pull past her shameful upbringing Glad to see her throw off the shackles of the abusive husband Excited to observe her raise a piano prodigy.But you know what The whole time, I knew None of it would make her thrive Each advance was some new twisted purgatory, and there was no chance for a happy ending.I was right. I ve not read a great deal of Joyce Carol Oates copious publication list, but the Gravedigger s Daughter seems to be at the reserved, conventional end of her spectrum It is the story of a lifetime, a classic American lifetime from blighted immigrant upbringing to eventual success, or success through children as is often the case In the meantime, much contemplation of the perils of being a women, and of being a single mother, and of being a foreigner Of perseverance and the loneliness of steadfast purpose, and the necessary but insurmountably isolating walls we build Strange that other reviews complain that the prose is excessive, as I would actually say that with her markedly modernist or gothic tendancies reigned in somewhat, Oates deft, precise touch for the description of details both internal and external is her strongest asset Her words are crisp and effective, and occasionally glittering, without ever slowing from a brisk and utterly readable presentation Which is to say that this reads essentially like the literary bestseller that it was, I suppose I have to admit that such heartfelt realist narratives aren t entirely to my taste these days, but I managed not to be bored for almost 600 pages, which says something Slows a bit towards the end inevitably, I was interested in the protagonist s tumultous youth than ever stable middle age but even then, Oates chooses her scenes well to keep things moving along Oh, and Oates can t possibly shake off her all her gothic predilections, either one seemingly inconsequential point resurafaces rather startlingly, tying things a little tighter than expected And now time to go back to some bizarro sci fi or something.Lengthy past thoughts at the mid point For christmas This is something like Joyce Carol Oates 53rd novel not exaggerating, she s written at least one a year for the length of her productive career, plus buckets of stories And I ll admit, though I loved her eerie 1976 5 voice stream of consciousness nocturne Childwold a totally random used bookshop selection whose design and first page seemed perfect , that I m always a little unsure of picking up her others Why Because they can t all be good, can they And I can t possibly dig through all of them in search of Childwold caliber material it s barely on goodreads, and the reviews that there are are pretty middling And I hear lots of conflicting things about her Some people complain about her often dense prose and weirdo gothic modernism, some seem to steer clear based on the mass exposure and Oprah book clubbing of We Were the Mulvaneys which seems to suggest over sentiment or something what it probably actually suggests is overwhelming tragedy, sentimental or not Some complain that her entire catalog is solid but increasingly redundant as you read and of it So, tricky So I m actually pretty grateful for this well placed gift, to slice through my indecision And so how is this I d worried that modern, popular Oates might be a little conservative in prose style, and compared to Childwold, it certainly is But by normal bestseller standards, it s clear that Oates can really write With sharp, finely worked prose, with a decent sense of how to juggle chronology for juxtaposition and pacing, with conviction and convincing voice and convincing, lived sense of the inevitability of tragedy and a little of that Faulknerian sense of familial doom So it s pretty good It captures well the sadness of being alive, the sadness of being an immigrant, The Sadness of Being a Girl borrowing the phrase from an old Vietnamese psych rock song from this comp , which is what I gather a lot of serious i.e non gothic, non pseudonym Oates is essentially concerned with But at 600 hundred pages, a lot of this seems inessential, too Rebecca Schwart s story is perhaps sadly quintessential, and the prose is great line for line, but there s nothing here that burns to be spoken, exactly, or that burns to be spoken slowly, over hundreds of pages of carefully wrought description The inessentialness of a long, dense career, maybe The inessentialness of telling things in great detail just because you can Or maybe I ve been spoiled by compact, concise storytelling lately But this sill moves well under its own momentum I guess I ll have to see where the second half takes me. This is a book about identity, about coming to terms with your past and being who you are About family, battered women and their husbands About the immigrant experience.Oates details the story of Rebecca Schwart s life from her earliest childhood and on Rebecca is the third child of poor, immigrant Jewish parents who arrived in the States in the 30 and Rebecca was actually born in New York Harbor, making her a US citizen as the only one in the family.The book starts with Rebecca thinking back on her parents and we learn that her father came to a violent end, but not how I was instantly hooked Then the book follows Rebecca in her life as a wife to Niles Tignor and mother of little Niley Niles Jr with flashes back to her childhood with a father being and mad and feeling like it was them against the others He forbade Rebecca s mother to speak German and in that way stripped her of her ability to communicate and be an individual and he controlled everything in the house In Germany, he was a teacher and a cultured man in the States he works as the gravedigger doing manual labor and is not respected at all he and his family are actually victims of some anti semitic jokes , both real and imagined.In Rebecca s current life, she is married and a mother but her husband perhaps isn t all he claimed to be and Rebecca has to escape with Niley and she starts a new life as Hazel Jones She chooses that name because she meets a man one day who thinks she s Hazel Jones and she stars believing she could be.The truth of that encounter is revealed towards the end of the book in a way, only Oates can pull off.But Hazel manages to cunningly create a new life and two new identities for her and her little boy, Zacharias who turns out to be a wonderful piano player a skill he inherited from his maternal grandmother.In the end, Rebecca comes full circle and face to face with her past.As always, I love the way Oates writes She seems so in control of her language and her story and characters and everything works together beautifully Her way of letting a person s thoughts and imaginations being part of the text but written in cursive, makes the characters have so much depth and this was another wonderful book by her.I always say and write that Oates write about the American dream gone bad In this book, she doesn t Rebecca actually achieve the American dream she creates a great life for herself and her son But she does so at a cost no one knows who she actually is except Niley Zacharias who grows detached because of this shared, but hidden, knowledge and she constantly wears a facade as the perfect woman, always smiling, always pleasing her man She pays a huge price for this, her chosen way of life and even though she had to go into hiding to get away from her abusive husband, the question remains whether the way she chose to do it was worth it in the end.And she learns the wisdom of her father s advice In animal life the weak are quickly disposed of So you must hide your weakness, Rebecca We must. And she does. This was obviously a very beautiful book, coming from Joyce Carol Oates It deals with Rebecca, the gravedigger s daughter, whose family moved to America just before the 2nd World War started In many ways, this is a coming of age story because we get to hear about Rebecca s life from she s an infant till she s a grown woman However, Oates structure is beautifully puzzling as she starts the novel when Rebecca is in her twenties, on her way home from work This is a story about struggles and how you often repeat patterns in your life, no matter how destructive they may be It s very clear from the beginning that Rebecca sees herself as The Gravedigger s Daughter because she is living with a constant, terrifying fear of her father who was a monster Joyce Carol Oates writes beautifully about history and life, and some of her sentences are breath taking Meanwhile, I did miss some kind of resolution in the end, especially when it comes to specific characters that we hear nothing about But other than that, this novel was stunning and it has peaked my interest to get to know Oates works even better. This book would have had much higher marks from me if it would have ended differently.This is my first Joyce Carol Oates read and was for a face to face bookclub In general I m not drawn to women in jepordy stories but I m always willing to give something new a try.I was drawn to the character Rebecca and wanted to see her life work out for the better And ultimately things did get better for her She finally did re marry although she was permenently damaged from her first husband.The worst thing about this book is, for me it didn t seem to go anywhere It was simply a chronical of her life I expected the husband to show up in some climatic scene but he just simply vanished discovered dead years ago No phantom here.I m also VERY confused by the way it ended In San Francisco after her son plays in the piano concertdid he win Did he continue with the piano The letters in the epilogue seemed to indicate he did continue with the piano but why did we end here What was the ultimate conflict resoution of this book Am I just not intelligent enough to see some deeper meaning did it pass over my head Finally I was even confused by the series of letters at the end What a strange segue They were desperate, pleading, from both sides two woman with only a passing shared past but somehow linked in a way that for me defied logic The epilogue was so divergent from the rest of the book it was as if I went into a parallel dimension I keep thinking there must be there there but I did not see it I ll be interesting to hear what the coversation goes like at the bookclub meeting.