Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Yearling is a coming-of-age story about a boy, Jody, living in the Florida wilderness during the late 1800s. Over a year's time, Jody grows from a 12-year-old focused mostly on recreation, to a contributing family member working alongside his father to provide for his family. Jody's family lives off their crops, game hunted in the forest, and trades made in a nearby village. It's a tough life full of back-breaking labor.
At Jody's side during most of the year is Flag, a fawn adopted after being found orphaned. As an only child, Jody longs for companionship, and his parents long resisted allowing him to adopt wild animals as pets. For some reason, in this case, they relented. Flag is a devoted pet, often at Jody's side, but as he grows it becomes more and more difficult to keep him on their farm.
This book is well-written -- it won the Pulitzer Prize after all -- and the very descriptive language brought the landscape to life. However, I tired of the graphic hunting scenes, and I was never emotionally invested in Jody and his family. I was hoping for a more compelling read and was disappointed. ( )