I love the endless novels out there that say what they mean, without having to dissect themes and interpret the underlying meaning of the work. I did the required work in English class, wading through weighty tomes full of many layers and hidden meanings. But . . . it’s possible that I am becoming a lazy reader. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does beg the question – what am I missing? Luckily, there’s someone out there, call her my guardian book angel, who watches out for my literary soul by dropping books of merit into my path.
Ironweed (actually a real plant, I looked it up) is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by William Kennedy in 1983, during what might have been the tale end of the age of the ‘great American novel’. Is it full of themes? Yes. Does it have depth? Absolutely. Is it a mind numbing, soul crushing vortex of words that takes the fun out of reading? Not at all. It’s a story of struggle and hardship and reality and redemption. A novel that will make you think. It might even make you grow a little. It’s also completely painless. I enjoyed my time with this book. 5 stars.