You know how you start thinking about an old friend, and then look them up, and find they were thinking of you? This book is like that.
West wrote it (and its companion volume Except for Me and Thee) more than 75 years ago, but it’s still just as funny and sweet, mostly because it’s about humans. Just humans, and how they interact, living on a farm in the Midwest as Quakers.
Well, there’s that Civil War bit, and their brush with the Underground Railroad, which is somehow more intense now reading it in these troubled years. So much should have changed by now…..
Not much has changed in human courtship, either, and the stories around love affairs (would be or actual) are as hysterical as they are accurate. If you want to just escape into a world that pre-dates Jan Karon but echoes our own modern troubles, this is a good one.
The author was a woman ahead of her time. She wrote two of my all-time favorite quotes about writing: “Talent is helpful in writing but guts are absolutely essential” and “Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.”
That kinda sums up The Friendly Persuasion. One of the reasons people will still be reading it years from now is its poignant accuracy in describing human interactions.