Author Rating: A

Roast Beef Medium (6/07) Recommended

Edna Ferber was a popular writer in the early first half of the 20th century, and with good reason. Roast Beef Mediumwas her third book, published in 1913. Besides being entertainingly written, it’s interesting for what it reveals about the mindset of the “modern woman” at the beginning of the 20th century, a point in time at which the agrarian, home-based way of life had been truly “lost” and replaced with fractured families and communities broken up to feed the ravening and insatiable maw of “business.”

The Wikipedia entry gets it right:

Ferber’s novels generally featured strong female protagonists, although she fleshed out multiple characters in each book. She usually highlighted at least one strong secondary character who faced discrimination ethnically or for other reasons; through this technique, Ferber demonstrated her belief that people are people and that the not-so-pretty persons have the best character.