In what may be a first, my Friday Favorite this time was never made into a movie. My choice this week is James Michener's "Chesapeake," a novel that spans 400 years, making a movie adaptation all but impossible. Complicating matters even more would be the fact that there are no people in a good part of the book. I've seen movies done from the point of view of a cat or a dog, but I'm guessing that filmmakers have really shied away from trying to get the point of view of Canadian geese down on film.
The book is entirely set in an area scarely more than 10 miles square, in and around the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. It opens before the Europeans discovered the area then follows their arrival and the settling of the land right up until the time the book was written (it was published in 1986). About 10 years ago, I discovered that my husbands' ancestors had settled very near this area and was so excited to already have a picture in my head of what the land must have been like when they first arrived.
Michener is the master of combining research and story; twenty years after reading the book, I still remember what this book said about the migratory patterns of the geese and how they are able to navigate their way. At almost 1100 pages, this was by far and away one of the longest books I had read up until this point in my life, but I don't ever remember feeling as though it was an insurmountable obstacle. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I later picked up a couple more Michener novels.
Michener's first novel was "Tales of the South Pacific" which was made into the Broadway musical and movie "South Pacific" and which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948.