Review of John Grisham's ‘A Painted House’

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‘A Painted House’ is a perfect representation of the common American lifestyle. It was inspired by the authors own childhood in the American South. It takes place in the south around the 1950s. This story is told through the eyes Luke Chandler, a seven-year-old boy. His memories and struggles are expressed in so many descriptive ways leading to the overall style of American realism.

This story introduces us to American views almost instantly. When we start learning about Luke, we see that he is a young boy in a cotton farming family that is struggling for cash. His parents and grandparents all live together. Their struggle to earn money is constantly shown throughout the story. Right at the beginning they are looking hard for workers. They need any help they can get to harvest their crops. Eventually they hire the Spruills and some Mexicans to help them out.

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Luke’s parents show the American feel in many ways also. They have extremely high hopes for their kid. They want him to not have to live the life that they had to. In relation, I can see this in my own home with my own family. They hope he doesn’t have to farm and he can become a baseball player.

The story also has some stereotypical American characters besides Luke’s family. Cowboy is a violent Mexican worker, Hank from the Spruill family is a snotty, mean, and violent eldest son. Tally is the typical ‘dumb blonde’ and Luke’s major love interest. Luke’s Uncle Ricky is in the army fighting for America. Many other characters appeal to the overall feel, but this is just a small example.

This story shows Luke losing his innocence to the cruel real world. He sees people commit murder, which is way too much for a little seven-year-old. He witnesses and hears things a seven-year-old could not be prepared for. He then finds himself trying to keep all these secrets to himself. This leads to lots of deceit and stress for everyone involved. Luke always dreamed of playing baseball. He listened to St. Louis games on the radio all of the time. I can relate this to many children in America wanting to go on the professional sports. Luke is very relatable to the typical American child. Of course, besides all the lies and secrets that were forced into his life. He has many feelings that are relatable to even some friends I have. Anything from having a crush on a girl to working to impress his family, Luke is overall a pretty American boy.

American tradition is showed throughout the everyday events also. Sundays were the resting days. Also, they were the days everyone went to church. Saturdays were for town visits. The carnival came through, and a few other relatable events also.

Overall, American views and traditions are shown throughout this entire story. It is a story about farming in the south. A young boy with a crush who just wants to go play baseball gets his whole world changed after seeing a couple bad things. The relatable characters, events, and traditions; on top of the extreme details and descriptions, all help add the overall style of American realism.

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Review of John Grisham’s ‘A Painted House’. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Review of John Grisham’s ‘A Painted House’.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
Review of John Grisham’s ‘A Painted House’. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
Review of John Grisham’s ‘A Painted House’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:

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