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The Vaster Wilds

por Lauren Groff

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6713934,952 (3.93)63
A servant girl escapes from a colonial settlement in the wilderness. She carries nothing with her but her wits, a few possessions, and the spark of god that burns hot within her. What she finds in this terra incognita is beyond the limits of her imagination and will bend her belief in everything that her own civilization has taught her. Lauren Groff's new novel is at once a thrilling adventure story and a penetrating fable about trying to find a new way of living in a world succumbing to the churn of colonialism. The Vaster Wilds is a work of raw and prophetic power that tells the story of America in miniature, through one girl at a hinge point in history, to ask how--and if--we can adapt quickly enough to save ourselves.… (mais)
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Inglês (36)  Holandês (2)  Alemão (1)  Todas as línguas (39)
Mostrando 1-5 de 39 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
2.75

The writing is lovely but the book is truly bleak and depressing.
I’ve loved books about survival and loneliness (I who have never known men or the road) - but this was repetitive and didn’t possess the emotional depth or attachment to character that I need to appreciate the desolation and brutality of just surviving. ( )
  spiritedstardust | Jun 1, 2024 |
Recommended to me by Barack Obama. Sipped this one slowly.
  bookczuk | May 6, 2024 |
I loved some of Groff's other novels but this one didn't float my boat. This is the story of a young girl who runs away from her life as a servant at a Colonial American settlement. So, basically the book chronicles her .quest to survive as she travels into the unknown. But that is about it. She is seemingly goalless and her adventures and memories really don't have much content. So, though the novel is well written I was not drawn into the story. ( )
  muddyboy | Apr 29, 2024 |
I gave up after reading over 60% of the book on kindle. I am SO disappointed as Lauren Groff is one of my favorite writers, and I was really looking forward to this her latest novel. Unfortunately, it was a painful, tedious read. The main character is a girl, formerly servant to a wealthy family in colonial settlement, who is on the run after apparently murdering one (or more) of her masters. As far as I got, nothing is clear except that she is running, running, running and trying to survive in the snowy wilderness. There are way too many minute details about her packing and unpacking and repacking her sack, trying to find water, tending to her sore feet, looking for a cave or crevice to sleep in, skewering a nestful of baby squirrels and roasting them (their bones taste like butter), stealing a duck's eggs and then breaking her neck, gathering mushrooms that make her vomit, eating a cupful of grubs, pissing and shitting in the woods--well, you get the idea. I guess I was supposed to be impressed by her perseverance in the face of this ordeal, but honestly, it was just too much until it got boring, and I just couldn't take any more. ( )
1 vote Cariola | Apr 22, 2024 |
“In the tall black wall of the palisade, through a slit too seeming thin for human passage, the girl climbed into the great and terrible wilderness” (1).

This somewhat-shorter novel reads somewhat like a longer epic poem: the narrator, an on-the-run servant in her teens, with great courage and swiftness, flees from famine and servitude at a colonial fort to find freedom, to save her life. On this journey (that feels more like Odysseus’ decade of water-weary travel than her weeks-long sojourn) where she’s running for her life into the northern wild, she seems to experience death and resurrection many times over.

From the vastness of the sea to the vastness of the wilds, there’s so much struggle and mourning and darkness. This heavy lit fiction reads like a mix of Piranesi (she’s alone throughout these trials and tests) and Lord of the Flies (she reminisces on actions darker than kids killing kids in isolation) and Mexican Gothic (her fevered hallucinations make those from MG seem tame) alongside some heavy commentary on colonialism. And while there’s much about monsters and men, religion and nature, the thing that sticks with me the most is this needful, yearning you experience alongside her as she runs farther into the wilderness. You desperately want her to be rescued—or even caught—you just want her to be with others, to escape the terrible loneliness, to be seen by another instead of floating by on the watery perimeter like an apparition who, at the end, accepts that “she [is] still a stranger” and “had imposed herself upon this place” and the simple “acceptance of … her was a gift of grace enough” (240). ( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
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A servant girl escapes from a colonial settlement in the wilderness. She carries nothing with her but her wits, a few possessions, and the spark of god that burns hot within her. What she finds in this terra incognita is beyond the limits of her imagination and will bend her belief in everything that her own civilization has taught her. Lauren Groff's new novel is at once a thrilling adventure story and a penetrating fable about trying to find a new way of living in a world succumbing to the churn of colonialism. The Vaster Wilds is a work of raw and prophetic power that tells the story of America in miniature, through one girl at a hinge point in history, to ask how--and if--we can adapt quickly enough to save ourselves.

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