From the back cover of this book, "When she was only twenty-three this, Carson McCullers' first novel, created a literary sensation. She is very special, one of America's superlative writers who conjures up a vision of existence as terrible as it is real, who takes us on shattering voyages into the depths of the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition." Wordy, eh? Well, don't let that somewhat heavy description scare you away as ths book below is well worth reading and ranks in my Top Ten favourites.
It tells the story of a young girl named Mick who lives in the South. Her life revolves around her family, their new tenant, the deaf jeweller, Mr Singer and the varied other people that impact on her life. Many of these people come into her life via Mr Singer; the black doctor, Mr Copeland, who tries to bring culture and knowledge to his race. There is the restaurant owner who stands behind his counter watching life go by. There is the wanderer, the drunken radical who befriends Mr Singer and Mick.
It's a deep, wonderfully written story, that touches the heart as it tells of Mick's growing up, the incidents that affect her life. I rank it with others of the type, including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. This one also tells the story of a young girl's coming of age, dealing with the trials and tribulations of her poor family. She is desperate for an education, in a similar vein as Mick's yearning to be a concert pianist, but unable to even take lessons due to her families poverty. These are great stories that anyone would enjoy. I chose. While they deal with tragedy, they also deal with love and happiness. I chose The Heart is a Lonely Hunter as one of my Top Ten's, partly because it is also such an excellent movie.
It was a movie that I wanted to share with somebody and I had looked for it for a long time on video so that I could get Jo to watch it with me. The story is so excellent and well told. Of course, I didn't tell Jo the ending, which I won't tell you either; suffice it to say she gave me a smack on the shoulder as there were tears shed. Still, I know she thought it was excellent too. :0)
As I mentioned, Alan Arkin is so good, probably his best role ever. And Sandra Locke, Clint Eastwood's ex wife, is also excellent as Mick. This was Sandra Locke's first role, a real winner.
I heartily recommend both the movie and the book. You will ultimately be satisfied with either and I'm sure feel the same way I did.