• "I still don't know how Smiley did it, the voices in A Thousand Acres are so raw and true, right from the first page. It's as if she has channelled them, rather than invented them. It has Biblical sweep – that broad sense of the epic – but Smiley is poignant on the daily-ness of life, cooking, cleaning and the way one sister feels when she finds she can't have children ."