At its best, this lyrical book transports the reader there ... Hamilton’s writing turns the crop...into a full-fledged character, whose blights are as chilling as a horror film ... Though beautifully written, this early part of Ia’s story makes for dense and, at times, didactic reading. To tell a refugee’s story means asking readers to follow along on ordeals so harrowing they are difficult to evoke in words, followed by stultifying years waiting in a camp ... When Ia returns to farming, the book begins to sparkle. Hamilton is a master observer, as attentive to Ia’s world as Ia is to her seedlings ... A nonfiction deep dive into rice farming may not sound like a page turner. But Ia’s story has real suspense to it, her farm constantly teetering on the edge of inviability.
An intimate, thoughtful portrait ... Deft ... Extensively researched, nuanced, and compassionate, The Hungry Season is a detailed look at an immigrant experience often overlooked ... A gripping narrative.
A radiant work of compelling portraiture in this deep exploration of one woman’s lifelong passion for farming despite the most trying of circumstances ... Book clubs will quickly embrace the stark humanity in this unforgettable title.