‘The Memory of Old Jack’ by Wendell Berry

This is a slim companion novel to Jayber Crow. I think I liked Jayber Crow a bit better, but The Memory of Old Jack has some really moving reflections on living a life and growing old and some great stories well-told. You get the sense of the generations marching on, each inhabiting the same section of land, the land itself like a character in the novel. Another of his books I would like to read eventually is Hannah Coulter. Might as well hang out in Port William a little longer, although it is not a series, some characters do pop up in other books.

What I enjoy about Wendell Berry is his poetic prose and his mastery at describing the nuance in relationship. His fiction combines wisdom with the earthiness of America’s rural past. A quote from New York Times Book Review says it best:  “Few novelists treat both their characters and their readers with the kind of respect that Wendell Berry displays.”

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