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Second Harvest

by Jean Giono

A study of a dwindling peasant community living in Provence in the 1930s and of Panturle's search for fulfilment. The tone of the book is very understated but you get a wonderful sense of country people with deep emotions they don't necessarily know how to express in words. The early part describes intense loneliness and you may find that difficult to read, but the book is ultimately optimistic.

Extract

It was a joy of which he wanted to savour all the smell and taste the juice as long as possible, like a sheep eating grass in the evening among the hills. He went on like that, until the beautiful silence had settled within him and around him, like a meadow. He came to his fields. He stopped in front of them. He bent down, picked up a handful of that rich earth full of air and seeds. It was an earth full of good will.
Translated by Henri Fluchere and Geoffrey Myers

Parallels

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
 

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