Tragedy and triumph, war and peace, prosperity and poverty; Rosanna & Walter Langdon and their kin experience it all in the first of Jane Smiley's epic family drama trilogy. I fell head over heels in love these robust Iowan farmers and it is of great distress to me that I haven't had time to read the second and third installments. (Surely, someday, when I retire...) In any case, short chapters, each representing one year, draw the reader addictively into the lives of the Langdon family, always looping back to home and heritage.— From Fiction
“With a novel as expansive and rich as the fertile farm grounds of Iowa, Smiley returns to the Midwest. Fans of her Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres will welcome this homecoming, the sweeping story of Walter and Rosanna Langdon's lives from 1920 to 1953. Memorable events - the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the McCarthy hearings, the Korean War - are all intertwined with the roller coaster of farm family life. The first volume in a planned trilogy, Some Luck is a celebration of the American family set against the backdrop of the land that will become the 'bread basket of the nation.'”
— Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA
National Book Award NomineeA Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times, The Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage 1920, Denby, Iowa: Rosanna and Walter Langdon have just welcomed their firstborn son, Frank, into their family farm. He will be the oldest of five. Each chapter in this extraordinary novel covers a single year, encompassing the sweep of history as the Langdons abide by time-honored values and pass them on to their children. With the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change through the early 1950s, we watch as the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis. Later still, a girl we'd seen growing up now has a little girl of her own. The first volume of an epic trilogy from a beloved writer at the height of her powers, Some Luck starts us on a literary adventure through cycles of birth and death, passion and betrayal that will span a century in America.