The Horizontal World is Marquart’s frank account of what it was like for a girl with her temperament to grow up on a farm that that already been in her family for several generations and in a community in which everyone knew exactly who she was and everything about her. Despite her haste in leaving all that behind, Marquart eventually found herself drawn back to that very community in search of a deeper understanding of her roots. She never felt that her parents comprehended who she had become and what her life was like and found herself becoming the daughter that they “knew” when she visited them twice a year. She had not spoken to her father during the last two weeks of his life even though she had promised him that she “would be back” and that is a regret with which she still lives.
This is how she described her awareness that the world had more to offer to those willing to risk leaving the farm:
“I grew up in an almost bookless house, aside from the Betty Crocker cookbook and the gold-embossed row of World Book encyclopedias, which were only good for filling out the details in school reports. Great mysteries lurked out there in the world, I suspected, at which the World Book could only hint.”I can barely imagine what it would be like to grow up in a place as sparsely populated as the Dakotas but Debra Marquart has vividly described what it is like for “dreamers” in all small towns across America who can’t wait to test themselves against the rest of the world.
Rated at: 3.5