The Yearling is a Pulitzer-winning novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The book is set in a remote area in the southern United States in the late 1800s. A boy named Jody Baxter lives with his parents on a small farm. He and his family live a relatively simple and primitive life. Jody’s life changes when he discovers a baby deer. He takes the fawn home and tries to raise it. Jody develops a strong attachment to the fawn as he cares for it. Later, Jody is forced to make difficult decisions as he tries to protect the animal from danger.
This is a classic story about boyhood and about maturing. Jody grows up alongside his yearling, and he gradually learns to deal with the challenges of life. Jody’s relationship with his family develops throughout the story. I especially enjoyed reading about the development of his relationship with his father. The dialogue in this book is immersive and captures the feeling of life in the South at that time. The book is also highly descriptive. I learned about plants and animals and a way of life that was almost totally unfamiliar to me beforehand. The author seems to paint pictures with words to describe the sweeping landscapes and terrain of the southern backwoods.
I believe this is one of the best books I have read. The story is deeply moving and seems to capture the essence of growing up in a dangerous and challenging world. This book is considered a masterpiece, and I find it well-deserving of the Pulitzer Prize. I highly recommend it.
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is available to checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.