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Half Portions   By: (1885-1968)

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Half Portions by Edna Ferber is a captivating novel that delves into the complexities of family, love, and social class in early 20th century America. Set in the bustling city of Chicago, the story follows the lives of two families, the Potters and the Cabot-Warringtons, whose paths intertwine over the course of several decades.

Ferber's writing style is both eloquent and vivid, bringing to life the vibrant streets of Chicago and the struggles of its inhabitants. She seamlessly weaves together multiple storylines, each filled with a cast of well-developed and relatable characters. From the feisty and strong-willed young Kitty Potter to the ambitious and desperate businessman Tony Cabot, the characters in Half Portions come alive through Ferber's meticulous attention to detail.

The central theme of the novel revolves around the consequences of societal expectations and the pursuit of material wealth. Ferber skillfully explores the notion of "half portions," referring to the half-forgotten dreams and desires that individuals must sacrifice in order to conform to societal norms. Through the trials and tribulations faced by the characters, Ferber encourages readers to question the meaning and value of success, and the toll it takes on personal happiness.

While the novel spans several decades, Ferber's pacing keeps the story engaging and fast-paced. Each chapter unfolds with a sense of anticipation, and the narrative drives forward with a sense of urgency. The dialogue is sharp and evocative, adding depth and authenticity to the interactions between characters.

Furthermore, the historical context provided by Ferber adds an enriching layer to the story. She brilliantly captures the social climate of Chicago during the early 1900s, painting a vivid picture of the city's growth and the struggles faced by immigrants and the working class. Through her meticulous research, Ferber provides readers with an immersive window into the past, bringing to life a bygone era in all its glory and hardships.

Half Portions is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant novel that sheds light on timeless themes of sacrifice, identity, and the pursuit of happiness. Edna Ferber's masterful storytelling and richly drawn characters make this book a true gem. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or simply enjoy a well-crafted tale, Half Portions is a must-read that will leave a lasting impression.

First Page:

HALF PORTIONS

BY

EDNA FERBER

GARDEN CITY NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 1920

CONTENTS PAGE

I. THE MATERNAL FEMININE 3 II. APRIL 25TH, AS USUAL 36 III. OLD LADY MANDLE 76 IV. YOU'VE GOT TO BE SELFISH 113 V. LONG DISTANCE 148 VI. UN MORSO DOO PANG 157 VII. ONE HUNDRED PER CENT 201 VIII. FARMER IN THE DELL 230 IX. THE DANCING GIRLS 280

HALF PORTIONS

THE MATERNAL FEMININE

Called upon to describe Aunt Sophy you would have to coin a term or fall back on the dictionary definition of a spinster. "An unmarried woman," states that worthy work, baldly, "especially when no longer young." That, to the world, was Sophy Decker. Unmarried, certainly. And most certainly no longer young. In figure she was, at fifty, what is known in the corset ads as a "stylish stout." Well dressed in blue serge, with broad toed health shoes and a small, astute hat. The blue serge was practical common sense. The health shoes were comfort. The hat was strictly business. Sophy Decker made and sold hats, both astute and ingenuous, to the female population of Chippewa, Wisconsin... Continue reading book >>




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