I took on this 2021 Challenge in January of 2022 because it was short, and I found the selected categories interesting. We are halfway through the year, and I am halfway through the challenge. I finished this week the first prompt, a book whose title contains a compound word. Barbara Kingsolver’s Homeland is a collection of short stories which showcases Kingsolver’s unique, captivating writing style.

An excellent collection of stories which showcases the author’s writing style

The short story that the collection is named after, “Homeland” was my favorite because it is extraordinarily “different” from other stories I’ve read, It recounts the story of Gloria St. Clair and the things she learned from her “Great Mam,” her great-grandmother who came to live with Gloria’s family the last two years of her life. “…Great-grandfather Murray brought Great Mam from her tribal home in Hiwassee Valley to live in Kentucky, without Christian sanction, as his common-law-wife. According to Mother, he accomplished all this on a stolen horse. From that time forward Great Mam went by the name of Ruth.”

It was from Great Mam that Gloria learned about the “small people,” the mischievous clan that lived in the woods and were responsible for many unexplainable missing objects and strange pranks and happenings that occurred in the community. Kingsolver’s imagination and exquisite writing style shine in this story and in the collection itself. I thoroughly enjoyed rediscovering this author through the collection.

The other two categories I checked off earlier this year were:

…a book whose title included a person and their description–The Dependents by Katherine Dion, and …a season, Summer by Eudora Welty.