Now in November follows the lives of an urban white family turned penniless, forced to work as farmers during the Great Depression. Johnson writes through the eyes of the middle sister Marget, of how the family goes through many struggles that come with living on a mortgaged farm. From beginning to end, Marget experiences firsthand the trials her family faces first from the spring of their move to a harsh winter, a decade later. When winter first begins, there is not much change in daily labor. A dreadful drought then harshens conditions, and a fire leads to the tragedy of the loss of two family members. Yet even though this agony is placed upon Marget and her remaining family, they must continue to work on the farm.
This novel included many strong characters, with each family member possessing a distinct and unique personality. Mainly focused on the three sisters Merle, Marget, and Kerrin, each sister is wildly different from the other. With these three as the center of the novel, their actions moved the plot along. To create both mental and physical descriptions, Johnson smoothly incorporates sections of imagery. Besides representation of the land, there are also other pieces that can be felt as an emotion or for example, the movement of time. Time does not travel in a chronologic sequence in this novel, and instead Johnson writes the story from two different time periods in Marget’s life. The novel takes place through the span of a year, yet at the same time ten years. This is slightly different, but by perceiving multiple aspects it allows for interesting development.
I would suggest that teenagers and older would be best suited for this book. This novel portrays the realistic effects of the Great Depression, and anyone who has interests about this historical time would definitely find this to be an engaging book. It is a touching and moving story about the struggle of that time, which is wonderfully portrayed and written by Johnson.