At the surface, the novel is merely the story of a young Shaker boy and his pet pig, but Peck’s unique voice gives the novel poignant charm and emotional power. The Shaker wisdom, quiet humor, and deep personalities found in the book mesh together precisely, drawing the reader in so that he or she can understand the feelings and thoughts of the characters.
The four lines of poetry at the beginning of the text wonderfully summarize the entire point of the story:
A farmer’s heart is rabbit soft,
And farmer eyes are blue.
But farmers’ eyes are eagle fierce
And look a man right through.
“A Day No Pigs Would Die,” is also one of the saddest books I have ever read. Peck’s novel is no happy-ending fairytale, but a realistic story whose touching ending is not easily forgotten.
If you haven‘t yet read “A Day No Pigs Would Die,” then you’re missing a classic story that you simply must read.