Set in the isolation of a small southern milltown in the 1930s, this sentimental yet powerful story centres around a deaf-mute, John Singer, and Mick, a teenage girl. Mick and Singer become friends, though they are separated by Singer’s lack of communication and Mick’s struggle with teenage traumas.The lives of the people Singer touches are varied, linked only by him they include a deaf-mute, a drunk, and a doctor.

Singer does his best to help those around him solve their problems, but who is there to help him solve his own? Although the five central characters cross paths continually throughout the course of a year, they are not able to connect with one another, and their loneliness becomes the over-powering theme of this classic work.

Last month’s book, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers produced a mixed bag of opinions. We went from ‘absolutely wonderful’ to ‘rather indifferent’. These comments were directed mostly towards the book’s characters, which we all agreed were the driving force of this novel. In fact, it was the range of characters and their individual isolation which really pulled on some of our heart-strings.

Denise made comment on how she had never read an American novel that dealt so well with the anger of the working class and at the injustices of society. A few of us found similarities with Steinbeck’s work; the struggle and inequities of life tends to overflow in his novels, and Heart seems to find the same space. Here is a story of unique tenderness and love that lacks the ability to share and soar, leaving more than a few souls lost and forlorn. There are few who could not be touched by this exquisitely human dilemma. To read more visit our blog Over The Fence.

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