The Moonflower Vine

The Moonflower Vine

Jetta Carleton / Sep 16, 2019

The Moonflower Vine A timeless American classic rediscovered an unforgettable saga of a heartland familyOn a farm in western Missouri during the first half of the twentieth century Matthew and Callie Soames create a lif

  • Title: The Moonflower Vine
  • Author: Jetta Carleton
  • ISBN: 9780061971181
  • Page: 411
  • Format: ebook
  • A timeless American classic rediscovered an unforgettable saga of a heartland familyOn a farm in western Missouri during the first half of the twentieth century, Matthew and Callie Soames create a life for themselves and raise four headstrong daughters Jessica will break their hearts Leonie will fall in love with the wrong man Mary Jo will escape to New York And wild cA timeless American classic rediscovered an unforgettable saga of a heartland familyOn a farm in western Missouri during the first half of the twentieth century, Matthew and Callie Soames create a life for themselves and raise four headstrong daughters Jessica will break their hearts Leonie will fall in love with the wrong man Mary Jo will escape to New York And wild child Mathy s fate will be the family s greatest tragedy Over the decades they will love, deceive, comfort, forgive and, ultimately, they will come to cherish all the fiercely the bonds of love that hold the family together.

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      Published :2018-09-06T03:36:23+00:00

    About "Jetta Carleton"

      • Jetta Carleton

        Jetta Carleton 1913 1999 was born in Holden, Missouri, and earned a master s degree at the University of Missouri She worked as a schoolteacher, a radio copywriter in Kansas City, and a television advertising copywriter in New York City, and she ran a small publishing house with her husband in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


    881 Comments

    1. What a lovely novel this was. A fellow librarian recommended the book to me, and I'm so glad I sought it out.The Moonflower Vine is set in rural Missouri and follows the Soames family: Parents Matthew and Callie, and four daughters, named Jessica, Leonie, Mary Jo and Mathy. The story opens with three of the daughters -- now adults and some with children of their own -- visiting the farm one summer in the 1950s. Matthew and Callie are now in their 70s or 80s, and everyone is cheerful and excited [...]


    2. The farm was a little island in a sea of summer.Damn, this was good!I usually snort at female centric novels like this one, those family sagas that span decades, and have a lot of kissing and man/woman stuff, but once again - DAMN! This was GOOD!You can read the description or some of the reviews if you want more of a blow-by-blow description. This one is exceptional - /review/showHere's why I think this book should be on your to-read list.Carleton's writing is sublime, and it's a tragedy that [...]


    3. Much has been written about The Moonflower Vine because it's been around for many years. I recommend avoiding the commentaries until after you've read the book. It would have considerably diminished my enjoyment of the book if I'd read the summaries and assessments beforehand. What is wrong with these people that they think it's okay to spoil the secrets? If I were you I wouldn't even read the Foreword by Jane Smiley. Better to go in without any preconceived ideas about what's coming. This story [...]


    4. I have re-read this book probably more often than any other book in my adult life. The story unfolds in rural Missouri over the first two-thirds of the 20th century, but its themes and its allure are timeless: family, faith, rebellion, secrets, love, independence, and time. Matthew and Callie Soames raise four daughters: Jessica, Leonie, Mary Jo, and Mathy. The book tells their stories one lifetime at a time, starting with the oldest daughter, Jessica, who introduces us to her parents and siblin [...]


    5. This novel's setting is rural western Missouri during the first half of the twentieth century. The surface story is one of family relationships complete with deeply intimate portraits. The rural and small town surroundings are fully portrayed to complete this time, place and environment.But under this happy veneer is a deeper level to the story that subtly surfaces to expose a pervasive understanding of religion that instills guilt over perceived sins—and fear of the consequential judgment. Th [...]


    6. I first read this novel in 1974 when I was 18, and I have read it every year since. Before it was rediscovered and reprinted, I bought every used copy I could find and gave them away, sometimes as many as six a year. Everyone who reads it is immediately drawn in, because it is a perfectly balanced, beautifully structured story about people you don't know, but wish you did. Each of the Soames family members is drawn so clearly, and with such a distinct voice, you can hear them talking. The end of [...]


    7. When I was a little girl, I would watch things like figure skating, baseball, and gymnastics and think, "wow, I can do that. It looks so easy!" My mom would always comment, "it looks easy because they are so good at what they do." That is how I feel about this book. This is an unassuming novel, that is elegant in its seeming simplicity and hushed atmosphere. However, when look deeper, you realize that this is a masterpiece of writing and it is not simple in the least. It isn't until you are fini [...]


    8. Me ha gustado, es una lectura placentera, como un largo y cálido verano sureño, en el cual la importancia de la familia, necesitarlos y no saber qué hacer sin ellos, destaca por encima de todo.La historia va in crescendo, de menos a más. Mucho mejor la segunda mitad que la primera. Los numerosos diálogos, muy ágiles, facilitan la lectura, y hacen que sea una historia absolutamente normal y real con personajes creíbles, historias reconocibles, emociones humanas y habituales.Los personajes [...]


    9. After 20 years of obscurity, The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carelton, was re-issued recently after author Jane Smiley cited it as one of 100 great novels in her book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Novel.Why this book ceased to hold the interest of readers is a mystery. I loved this book. It was reminiscent of Cold Sassy Tree or To Kill a Mockingbird, with its rural setting and cast of familial characters. The tale of the Soames family spans 60 years beginning at the turn of the 20th century. They [...]


    10. The Moonflower Vine, written in 1962 by Jetta Carleton, is considered a 'rediscovered classic'. It languished in obscurity for at least 24 years, until 2009, when a new edition, with forward by Jane Smiley was published. This is the edition I read.The book starts in the 1950's when The Soames family is getting ready for a summer reunion. The parents, Matthew and Callie, are seventy. They have four daughters, Jessica, Leonie, Mathy, and Mary Jo. Mary Jo is the voice that introduces us. The novel [...]


    11. This novel was a reading group pick and I loved it. It is completely American heartland family fiction with feisty daughters, a dad who is imperfect, and a long-suffering but wise mother.The writing is wonderful and fits the story perfectly. It reminded me of Rebecca West's The Fountain Overflows in the way it investigates the flaws of each family member. While it might feel old fashioned to a young woman reading it today, being set in the first half of the 20th century, I think Jetta Carleton p [...]


    12. Moonflower Vine is the only published novel of Jetta Carleton. This I can understand, because how can you improve on perfection.The Soames family saga in rural Western Missouri circa 1890-1950 is priceless in more than a few categories. Human psychology, geography, cycles of agriculture, farm mode in a time of no electricity or indoor plumbing, family dynamics and of course, economic class interchange. 5 star in every single one of those, and a 6 for the prose. The husband is a schoolteacher and [...]


    13. ¡Qué novela más maravillosa! Leerla te reconcilia con la buena literatura. Con toques intimistas y un ritmo narrativo lento pero seguro, la narradora va hilando la historia de una familia en la que todos sus miembros (personajes nítidos, muy bien dibujados, con sus luces y sus sombras) esconden secretos para garantizar la convivencia. En esta obra se ríe, se respira, se llora y se ama, se duda y se avanza, en definitiva, se vive.Puedes leer la reseña completa en elmomentoderaquel


    14. I couldn't help making comparisons the whole time I was reading this to Little Women, although I liked this book more. The characters were dynamic and three-dimensional and I liked the approach of delving into the family members one-at-a-time. If I consider this a classic (as some people do), I loved it. If I compare it to other books I'm reading these days, it was still a great character study, but the it lacked some oomph. As a minor critique, I thought the section on Callie did not do her jus [...]


    15. The Moonflower Vine, by Jetta Carlson, originally published in 1962, is an old favorite my sister and I discovered years ago. I liked it so much, I bought my own hardcopy (the original being my sister's), as well as a beat up paperback to carry in my beach bag. It is the story of four sisters and their parents, and how life bends and shapes them through the years. I originally thought of my grandmother and my mother's aunts the first time I read the book, that this is what it must have been like [...]



    16. I admit I am a sucker for books set in an era long past, and even moreso for books detailing a family saga. There is nothing I love better than to watch a family grow and change through the years. And The Moonflower Vine certainly delivers. What makes this novel so interesting is that it begins at the end, when the Soames girls are all grown, home for a couple of weeks in the summer to visit their parents Matthew and Callie. The first chapter is told by the youngest daughter, Mary Jo, born when [...]


    17. This book started off as a sleepy little family tale, then flourished into an epic of the Soames family in Missouri. Each character had their own part of the saga to tell - from Matthew's indiscretions to Jessica's first love - and each of the stories was interwoven with the others in such a way as to make these characters real and flawed and their stories heartbreaking and triumphant. Once I started getting into the story, I could not put this book down.


    18. DNFWe were split down the middle again I'm this one. Half loved it, going so far as to say it was as good or better than To Kill a Mockingbird. I and the other half couldn't finish it.


    19. May, 2013I liked it even more the second time through and found that I'd mellowed towards some of the things that bothered me about the characters the first time. Really appreciated the writing - beautiful narrative, the author really brings us inside the characters, dialogue is well-placed. A book I'm sure to return to again. ***I almost passed this one by because of the title, which brings to mind something sappy and "romantic" from, say, Nicholas Sparks. Well.This was a really good read, most [...]


    20. The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton is the story of a family living and growing in rural Missouri. Matthew and Callie have four daughters, each one distinct, following a path truly her own. Matthew is a schoolteacher, more than willing to escape into his work and books even if it means his family comes second. Callie is loving, hardworking and wants nothing but the best for her family. Jessica is the tomboy of the family. Leonie is the good girl, wanting nothing more than to please her parents [...]


    21. This is a beautifully written book. It is the portrait of the Soames family who live in rural Missouri. It follows their lives during the first half of the 20th century. The Soames family is composed of Matthew and Callie and their four daughters. There are 6 parts to the book and each part is given from the perspective of each family member. Almost like 6 intertwining short stories that span the family's lifetime.It made me stop to think about how each member of my family views the events that [...]


    22. From the glowing reviews, I thought I would like this book more. It was okay; but it was so bogged down in the small-town/farm interactions and activities, and very light on any lessons learned or self-awareness on the characters' parts. That is, until the middle of the book, when the story of Mathy comes into play. After the tragedy that befalls Mathy (and the entire Soames family), we glimpse how the devastating loss changes the whole family and gets the characters to do some serious soul-sear [...]


    23. A story of a Missouri family during the first half of the 20th century. Matthew and Callie Soames create a life for themselves and raise four headstrong daughters. One will break their hearts, one will fall in love with the wrong man, one escapes to New York, but wild child Mathy's fate will be the family's greatest tragedy. Over the decades, they will love, deceive, comfort, and forgive; and ultimately, they will cherish the bonds of love that hold them together.The story is told in turns by th [...]


    24. I sure hope I don't jinx it but 2017 has been a great reading year for me. By some happy chance, I've managed to pick up nothing but wonderful books. I started this almost three years ago and loved what I had read of it then but because of hefty required reading lists from three different classes I was taking at the time, I was forced to abandon it 100 pages or so in. I finally got around to picking it up again this year and am so happy I did. I love family sagas, I love books set in the country [...]


    25. The Moonflower Vine, by Jetta Carleton (1913-1999) was first published in 1962 by Simon and Schuster. The Harper Perennial edition was released in 2009, ten years after the author's death.The story begins in summer in the 1950's as the adult children in the Soames family are visiting their parents, Matthew and Callie on their rural Missouri farm. The story begins as Mary Jo, the youngest of the four girls, tells of the annual visit to see their parents, which is both a reunion, and a sense of du [...]


    26. The Moonflower Vine, by Jetta Carleton, is called "A rediscovered classic" on the cover of the book. Jane Smiley wrote the forward to this edition of the book, in which she discusses the illusion of completeness that all novelists strive for, but only the best attain. I would agree with Smiley that Carleton achieves this illusion. It's difficult to imagine what if anything is left out of this novel. The novel is set in southwest Missouri in the early part of the 20th century. This is territory f [...]


    27. I love the book. It is about a family living in rural Southwestern Missouri at the turn of the last century. Perhaps women would enjoy it the most, because a good part of it is about their daughters, but I thought it was great. Their daily life of running the farm, and the constant work of preparing foods, cleaning, keeping the old cars running, etc reminds us of our easier life. There is always the background of the closeness and appreciation of the nature that surrounds them. Their speech, qua [...]


    28. A coworker mentioned off-the-cuff the other day about how it is her favorite book. Besides the general recommendation of a "good" book, I am constantly curious as to what attracts a certain person to a specific book. In other words, I wanted to see what I could learn about my coworker from reading The Moonflower Vine. Now that I am reading it I am no closer to understanding my coworker than I was before, but finding myself involved in the story. At first I was a little confused by the narration [...]


    29. Published in 1962, this is the only novel written by Jetta Carleton. Even though it spent 3 months on the New York Times Bestseller list, it has gone mostly unnoticed. Set in the early 1900's in rural Missouri, the story follows the lives of Matthew and Callie from their teenage years through their marriage and the raising of four headstrong daughters, and into their twilight years. The writing is beautiful and there is much to learn as this deeply religious family struggles with the unexpected [...]


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