Help me find this novel
January 11, 2019 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Please help me ID a novel I read several years ago. My memory is vague, but I think it was about siblings who grew up together on a farm, and then had sections about their separate adult lives. Gambling in Nevada was involved, and there was an extended section about an artist in France?

I have a few main memories of this book, but it's so hazy that I'm not even 100% sure they're all from the same novel. The book was lit fic, possibly by a prominent author. I think I read it 5 years ago or so, but it could have been written any time since the 90s. The timeframe of the novel is ambiguous, but probably 1960s-1990s. There were several distinct sections:

1) Two or three kids growing up on a farm (at least a boy and a girl), raised by a single dad, in the western US. One of them is adopted and possibly runs away. Maybe the boy is adopted to help work on the farm?

2) The boy leaves the farm and falls in with gamblers and becomes an expert card shark. He gets into some trouble.

3) The girl becomes some kind of academic and moves to France to research a french author or artist. She lives in a small cottage by herself and meets a strange french man who lives in a trailer in the forest.

4) The novel ends with an extended section about the life of the artist/author that the woman went to France to research.

Again, I'm not sure how much of this is correct. Any help appreciated, this has been driving me nuts.
posted by no regrets, coyote to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje.
posted by miles1972 at 2:34 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]

Never read Divisadero, so that might be obviously the right answer but your question made me think of Some Luck (first of a trilogy) by Jane Smiley.
posted by Vatnesine at 7:48 PM on January 11

Divisadero is right. Extra embarassing because I'm reading Ondaatje's new one now which must be why it came to mind. Thanks!
posted by no regrets, coyote at 10:58 PM on January 11

Your description above the fold made me suspect it might be Divisadero, bit your comment "I'm not even 100% sure they're all from the same novel" sealed the deal!
posted by Cheese Monster at 7:17 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]

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