This was a wonderful book. The narrator did a great job giving each character a voice, and reading with emotion.
Sol was my son's favorite character because "he was funny and cute".
George Guidall brings a real voice to the characters. I felt like I knew them.
When characters died or were killed.
Outstanding historical fiction. Having moved to Florida as an adult over 20 years ago and lived in both South and North Florida this book gave me a sense of the rich heritage of the settlers who struggled in the wilderness. The issues of the times. The business and opportunity of the time. I highly recommend this book.
Made me get teary eyed when Zech lost his wife to the bull and spoke to Sol about loss of those you love.
one the the best
vivid imagery of a time past
This would make a great miniseries (sorta like lonesome dove).
should be required reading for Florida high schoolers.
V erywell written and entertaining. I enjoyed the mixture of history and fiction and appreciate the research the author did for this book. George Guidalldid an excellent job narrating
As a transplant to Florida, I've long been familiar with the Railroad Baron narrative of Florida's post-Jacksonville development, which pretty much ignores the fact that non-native Americans were already migrating here long before Flagler and Plant (incentivized by government subsidies and competitive zeal) built their railways and snowbird resorts.
So I found this book to be a welcome and well-researched history of the early Florida settlers who populated the central and rural parts of Florida that most people outside of the state don't ever see. (With the exception of Disney World, of course, which would have been in development as this story ends in 1968).
It's also a nice depiction of American pioneer/frontier life in the mid-to-late 1800's, which we sometimes forget wasn't just a westward thing.
But if you're not particularly interested in Florida, Florida history, or pioneer/frontier fiction, there's not a lot of complexity to this story.
On the plus side, it's an excellent family PG listen--the characters are inspiring and morally admirable (unless they're totally despicable--there's no in-between in this novel). But that's also the downside--this is a classic man v. nature plot, and in this case nature turns out to be much more interesting and unpredictable than the man.
In fact, the MacIveys are dead-ringers for the denizens of Lake Wobegon (all of the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are above average). The Seminole Indians are consistently wise and other-worldy, with a wonderful habit of appearing at really convenient times. And the depiction of the African-American Skittle feels somehow racist by modern standards as well, although it probably is more historically accurate than Tobias MacIvey's enlightened attitude towards him. (Isn't it amazing how every historical character created in modern popular fiction is always the ONE person in their community who bravely stands up against racial segregation?)
But the action and dialogue are compelling, and Smith definitely knows how to tell a story.
Paired with George Guidall's always-perfect narration, this is an enlightening and entertaining listen, especially if you're driving or walking in Florida.
Endearing, informative, and satisfying
He is the perfect narrator for this story. The voices he uses brings the story to life and allows the reader to feel love and empathy for these memorable characters.
Yes. I listened on a road tip and time flew.
My family has been in Florida for four generations and I loved learning what happened in Florida before we arrived.
Part historical fiction, part family saga, part pioneer story with real cowboys and Native Americans - if you live in Florida, have visited Florida, or dream of doing either, you should read this story. It is a riveting trip through time and the taming and plundering of this exotic place called Florida. It is hard for most of us who see the land of strip malls and traffic jams to imagine the Florida wilderness. This book will help you imagine and as the title suggests... remember.
I really enjoyed this book. Every aspect of it is top quality. The story is very well developed and the characters are people that you begin to believe you really know personally. I did not know much about Florida history during the period that is covered in the story. I liked learning some new things while caught up in a fascinating saga. At first I thought the narration was going to be a problem but either the narrator improved while reading or I just got used to the voice.
One of the finest historical novels covering the settlement of Florida. Truly opens up the past and brings it alive.