Sorry folks. Once again I feel like the skunk at the picnic, but I have to be honest.IMPRESSIONS AFTER 100 PAGES: Marisa Silver has some admirable writing skills. However, this story began to feel like a fictionalized recitation of the life of Florence Owens Thompson, the lady in the 1936 Dorothea Lange photo "Migrant Mother." (The photo has been cropped and colorized for the novel's dustjacket.) Furthermore, the addition of Walker, the modern-day historian, is distracting and superfluous."Recitation" was the frustrating factor for me here. It just seemed to me that Silver was trying to barf it all out there as fast as she could, like a history lesson, without developing the characters all that much or firing the imagination. Readers who are less frustrated by that expository style seem to be giving this novel high praise, so give it a whirl and decide for yourself.NOTE: Having said all of the above, I'm going to persevere a little longer with this book to see if it gets any better.FINAL DECISION: This book is fine for people who enjoy chewing sawdust. As promised, I persevered with it as long as I could, and finally gave up on page 183. It wouldn't be fair to say the writing is bad. It's not. But the whole presentation is so dry and lifeless that even at two-thirds of the way through the book, I still couldn't care about any of the characters.