Book Report: The Long Winter

I have read an interesting book. It is called THE LONG WINTER. The story started with one morning in September when the grass was white with frost. The book tells us that it was only a light frost that melted as soon as sunshine touched it. It was gone when Laura looked out at the bright morning. But at breakfast Pa said that such an early frost was surprising. “Will it hurt the hay?” Laura asked him, and he said, “Oh, no. Such a light frost will only make it dry faster when it’s cut. But I’d better get a hustle on, for it won’t be long now till it’s too late to make hay.” He was hustling so fast that afternoon that he hardly stopped to drink when Laura brought him the water-jug. He was mowing in Big Slough. “You cover it up, Half-Pint,” he said, handing back the jug. “I’m bound and determined to get this patch mowed before sundown.” chirruped to Sam and David and they started again, drawing the whirring machine.

The most interesting part is when Laura said that it was rather like going into the jungle-picture in Pa’s big green book. Laura pushed ahead between the thick clumps of grass-stems that gave way rustling and closed again behind her little brother Carrie. The millions of coarse grass-stems and their slender long leaves were green-gold and golden-green in their own shade. The earth was crackled with dryness underfoot, but a faint smell of damp lay under the hot smell of the grass. Just above Laura’s head the grass-tops swished in the wind, but down at their roots was a stillness, broken only where Laura and Carrie went wading through it. “Where’s Pa?” Carrie asked suddenly. Laura looked around at her. Carrie’s peaked little face was pale in the shade of the grass. Her eyes were almost frightened. “Well, we can’t see him from here,” Laura said. They could see only the leaves of the thick grass waving, and the hot sky overhead. “He’s right ahead of us. We’ll come to him in a minute.” She said it confidently but how could she know where Pa was? She could not even be sure where she was going, where she was taking Carrie. The smothering heat made sweat trickle down her throat and her backbone, but she felt cold inside.

The character I like most is Laura. She behaved and acted well, and was willing to take up her responsibility when she was with Carrie. Laura thought that the grasses ahead were thinner. The shade seemed lighter there and the tops of the grasses against the sky seemed fewer. And suddenly she saw sunshine, yellow beyond the dark grass stems. Perhaps there was a pond there. Oh! Perhaps, perhaps there was Pa’s stubble field and the mowing machine and Pa. She saw the hay stubble in the sunshine, and she saw haycocks dotting it. But she heard a strange voice. Close together, Laura looked out from the edge of the standing grass. There they saw Pa. Laura gave him the mowing-machine section, and she and Carrie watched while he opened the tool-box, took the cutter-bar from the machine, and knocked out the broken section. He set the new one in its place and hammered down the rivets to hold it. “There!” he said. “Tell your Ma I’ll be late for supper. I’m going to finish cutting this piece. The mowing machine was humming steadily when Laura and Carrie went on toward the shanty. “Where you much scared, Laura?” Carrie asked. “Well, some, but all’s well that ends well,” Laura said. “It was my fault. I wanted to go that way,” said Carrie. “It was my fault because I’m older,” Laura said. “But we’ve learned a lesson. I guess we’ll stay on the road after this.” “Are you going to tell Ma and Pa?” Carrie timidly asked. “We have to if they ask us,” said Laura. Laura put on her shoes and a shawl when she went to the well for water.

I also like the language used in the story. Laura loved the beautiful world. She knew that the bitter frost had killed the hay and the garden. The tangled tomato vines holding their red and green tomatoes, and the pumpkin vines holding their broad leaves over the green young pumpkins, were all glittering bright in frost over the broken, frosty sod. The sod corn’s stalks and long leaves were white. The frost had killed them. It would leave every living green thing dead. But the frost was beautiful. Laura knew that it was a very small harvest. But the hay and corn winter the horses.

I like this storybook. It not only gives me a wonderful adventure of Laura and Carrie, but also a chance to think about our responsibilities and read some beautiful descriptions of different scenes in the story.