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A Painted House: A Novel

Abridged / Go to Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: John Grisham

Narrated By: David Lansbury

Date: February 2001

Duration: 5 hours 12 minutes


The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop."

Thus begins the new novel from John Grisham, a story inspired by his own childhood in rural Arkansas. The narrator is a farm boy named Luke Chandler, age seven, who lives in the cotton fields with his parents and grandparents in a little house that's never been painted. The Chandlers farm eighty acres that they rent, not own, and when the cotton is ready they hire a truckload of Mexicans and a family from the Ozarks to help harvest it.

For six weeks they pick cotton, battling the heat, the rain, the fatigue, and, sometimes, each other. As the weeks pass Luke sees and hears things no seven-year-old could possibly be prepared for, and finds himself keeping secrets that not only threaten the crop but will change the lives of the Chandlers forever.

A Painted House is a moving story of one boy's journey from innocence to experience.


  • Nanette

    I was quite surprised how much I did enjoy this book. As a big fan of John Grisham's "law-type" books, I was afraid this would let me down but I got a kick out of the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Great book about the south.

  • Angela P.

    Based on how enjoyable his movies can be i am surprised how dull and boring this book turned out to be. Ir is unfortunate that this was my first book by him because now I am hesitant to read others by him.

  • Diane M W.

    John Grisham had a very unusually vivid memory of his youth!

  • Kallie C.

    I've listened to this book numerous times! This is one of those love it or hate it books, there is no in between. I personally love it

  • Suzanne Taylor

    I was sad when the book ended. I wanted to hear more of young Luke's life in the north.

  • Jami Jordan

    As a departure from Grisham's usual fare, I thought this was good. It was a slow walk in rural Arkansas in the 1950's, through the eyes of a 7 year old. There was plenty of variety, even for slow-action. I felt like I got a bird's eye view into life on the farm and in the country, with an appreciation of how things "worked". I agree with the reader who said the ending was a bit anti-climatic, but I was engaged completely until then. The narration was very good, nice change up of voices.

  • Big Tom

    I am a John G fan. This particular book does not hit the mark. It is to unbelievable. Some of it is on target, but the main character is not. In my opinion he is to young for all of the happenings

  • Englewoodia

    A departure for Grisham and I really enjoyed it. Unabashed view of the life of farmers (laborers) in any era. Hard choices make hard people and I appreciated the candid portrayal of the grandfather. Good narration also.

  • betty

    This is another of Grisham's best. It is a little different. No lawyers, but it still is in the same country area. I really enjoyed reading this one and believe you will also.

Painted House: A Novel

by John Grisham

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Painted House: A Novel, John Grisham
Painted House: A Novel, John Grisham
This title is due for release on February 6, 2001.

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