Prior to "A Painted House" I had lost interest in John Grisham's books as the last two or three had become very samey and much too far fetched for even a fictional courtroom law drama. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by this novel. In the tradition of Steinbeck (but not a classic) this story of Arkansas farmers and their labourers gripped me from the start. I was fascinated by the traditions of cotton farming, and the hardships experienced by the farmers and labourers alike. The violent episodes were well described, and emotionally, the characters remained with me. I enjoyed this new style by John Grisham very much. But I'm still hoping his future law dramas will have regained the author's edginess I always loved.