“Zorrie is a quiet novel about an ordinary life. And when you’re ordinary, you need resilience like Zorrie’s to survive in an uncaring world. Laird Hunt’s short and affecting novel follows Zorrie Underwood’s life from childhood in Depression-era Indiana, when she’s orphaned, to early adulthood, when she’s left on her own, to an eventual marriage and working life.”


Just finished Zorrie by Laird Hunt. This very touching, short novel is the story of Zorrie Underwood, orphaned when she was a young girl, taken care of by her aunt who passes away not too long after getting Zorrie, which sends Zorrie out into the world looking for her life.
It is the time of the depression and Zorrie leaves Indiana going West, getting work when she can, sleeping wherever she can. She even gets a job with a company that places the small fluorescent lighting in peoples watches. When she turns out the lights at night she glows in the dark.

Zorrie eventually heads back to Indiana and it is here that her real life takes hold, living and working on a farm she finds friends, love and a new life.
The richness of this story is in Zorrie herself. As she goes thru life, her experiences mold her into a woman with deep personal feelings and convictions. That this story is told in only 160 pages is a tribute to the excellent writing by the author. I had read one other novel by him, Neverhome, a novel of the civil war which was terrific.
Zorrie is currently shortlisted for the National Book Award and I highly recommend it to all readers.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 15th December 2021

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Richard Franco