51cvklzqubl._sl1500_.jpgLight in August by William Faulkner was published in 1932 after his child was stillborn. It is another of the Top 150 Novels of the 20th century.

This is a depressing story written during the Great Depression. Not that Faulkner is known for light-hearted prose, but I found this story especially disheartening. The main characters in the novel are dysfunctional at best.  Considering the main themes are race, child abuse, and religious fanaticism, I suppose light-heartedness is pretty much out of the picture.

Faulkner weaves a brilliant tale populated with vivid, suffering characters. There is a young, pregnant girl who walks barefoot across Alabama in search of the man who fathered her child, a mulatto orphan raised by a religious zealot, a preacher with an unfaithful wife, and an aging female abolitionist. There are additional characters just as memorable whose lives become entwined in the small Mississippi town called Jefferson.

While reading this novel, I often recalled the 20th century literature course I took many years ago. Faulkner was one of the authors whose work was included and I still find his work exceptionally wordy. His lengthy descriptions are amazing though and themes universal. If you decide to take a gander at this book, be prepared to settle-in for a long, slow roller coaster ride.

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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