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By Jane Smiley (Mantle, £18.99)Fic4

The American author Jane Smiley won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1991 novel A Thousand Acres, which retold the story of King Lear. Early Warning is the second instalment in her “Last Hundred Years” trilogy, an umbrella title as direct and unfussy as the novels it contains. Where the first part, Some Luck (2014), followed the six children of Iowan farmers Walter and Rosanna from 1920 to 1953, Early Warning runs to 1987 in the company of their growing Langdon family tree. Brisk chapters bustle through one year to…

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