Friday, February 26, 2010
"The Beans of Egypt, Maine" by Carolyn Chute
My grade: B-
This is an interesting book, mainly about the very poor and uneducated Bean family. There is definitely talent here, but just like the author has said, this work feels unfinished. Perhaps my problem with it is that the author is clearly and profoundly of a much higher class than the Bean family itself. Their overly simplistic ways of life have already been interpreted and are not exactly presented in an 'unbiased' manner, if a writer is ever unbiased. Chute was definitely trying to defend, and perhaps explain, the Beans' way of life, but she has presented it in such a complex way, that the message is often lost. This book would send a much stronger message, in my opinion, if Chute had let the Beans do more of the telling.