Waverly, OH, United States | Member Since 2011
Suspense, Romance, Historical part-Fiction, part-Truth, WWII, Survival, Pain, Loss, Victory...it is all there, and mixed with powerful narration, what more is there?
As a white girl who went to school in rural Southern Ohio I had never met a dark-skinned person until the mid-60’s, mainly because we were terribly poor and, therefore, did not get out much unless we traveled with the band, and, later I, as a cheerleader. From age 8 until age 17, I had never traveled to the nearest adjacent town 10 miles away until our school band was invited to participate in a parade. So, even though I had seen them, I had never actually met a Negro, as they were then called, until after I was married, with children, and introduced to a lady who was my mother’s best friend, and thought nothing of it when Mother told me she was having Thanksgiving dinner with her friend’s family.
A very compassionate person, I had watched Roots and, later listened to it on Audible. I concluded that every child should have Roots as a requirement in middle school. Then I both read and listened to The Help. Recognizing the time was set around the 50’s, when I was a teenager, I remembered a time when my grandmother took me on a trip on a Greyhound bus, and noticed the dark-skinned people sitting in the back of the bus. I was neither surprised nor indignant; that’s just the way it was. Also, neither did I feel surprise when the male employees made more than the females because “they had families to provide for”. I never questioned that or the off-color "jokes" they told.
I never thought about a man picking up ANYTHING after himself until Phil Donohue talked about how he picked up his socks after himself, and did not leave them for his wife to do. That was the beginning of my conscientiousness about female inequality.
I have watched the entire cycle of enlightenment about the male/female roles, and much of the dark skin/light skin roles change over the last 60+ years. I got most of my education from TV as I Spy was the first series that featured a black male in a co-starring role. That was back when a dark skinned person could not even touch the hand, arm, etc of any white female on TV, let alone look at her lasciviously. No, darlings, that was not back in the 1800’s, but was just when I was married with young children, in the 60’s, after quitting my 3rd year in college because I got married, knowing it was what society expected of me, pre-dating my wedding day after my boyfriend and I got married in secret, and before I started to “show”.
I watched as TV ads morphed from the “he” ads (What will the doctor say when he sees your son’s leg?” to “What will your doctor say when she sees your daughter‘s leg?”) Within a few short years or decades this kind of advertising has, in my opinion, made the white male the most handicapped of all the sexes and races. Within the last 3-4 years I have heard my 3 grandsons (from 3 different families and areas) remark that girls were smarter than boys! (Oh, the pendulum swings.)
Now, I am a hard working great-grandma working with hundreds of dark skinned emigrants, trying to make life a bit simpler/easier for them. I love the path my life has taken, due, in most part to the conscience-raising in my life from many sources.
Therefore, I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Ms. Kidd, for researching and writing about these 3 wonderful Southern women who were ready to give their life or make it their life’s work to somehow make it better for thousands, millions of unborn people that they could never have envisioned. It makes me weep for all the unfortunates “out there” who actually have given their very lifeblood, and who still do, come to think it, many times on a global theatre.
This is a Masterpiece, and should be required reading for all middle school children!
I read this novel when I needed energy; I could not read it before bedtime. I thought I was getting espionage, and the beginning hooked me, but it was just blood & gore the entire way through.
I am sure this is someone's cup of tea, but, as for myself, I can only endure so many fights, bullets flying, broken bones and spying drones.
Well, actually, the plot, per se`, was not poor; it just took a VERY long time to get there. I kept thinking, "OK, SOMETHING is going to happen! So, I held on, and on, and on...well, you get the picture...Then, about 1 hour or so before the very end of the story was the crescendo, moving me to tears, and I thought "Yes, Yes!" And, so, the story should have ended there, except the author kept going on, and on and ON...
...until the very heart of the story was overshadowed. It was like those boring email jokes that didn't know when to stop.
If it had not been for the reader I would have left by the 2nd or 3rd part, so I MUST say I was very entertained.
For me there was no suspense at all, a lesson in giving too much information on the internet, and the strongest word in the entire book was "shit"!
I would recommend this book to 13-14-yr-olds, but if you are older than that it won't hold your interest. This book is more about the insecurities of young teens and less about the sins of the parents. I kept reading and reading, waiting for the suspense, waiting for the plot to grow and reveal itself. The suspense never came and the plot (plot?) waited to the end of the book to be revealed.
I think a parent of pre and early teen girls may recommend this to their daughters as a lesson in the real-life evils of the internet.
All the way through this book I kept thinking, " Wow! Truth is MUCH more strange than fiction!" Imagine my total SHOCK! at the end! And you, too, will be sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering about the whys and the wherefores of this story, and this sick, sick man. Gary Soneji was one of the most brilliant sick minds imaginable. I was even ready to forgive him 3/4 of the way through the book! The ending was way too much for me; I could not even comprehend how Alex could survive!
If you are tired of the every day run-of-the-mill book, no matter what your genre`, you MUST listen to this one! Charles Turner gives a top-notch narration. You'll be drawn in, like me, into the web of the madman as he twists and turns as he weaves his madness and catches into it unsuspected others.
Do not open this book unless you are prepared to listen through the night, on the edge of your bed, fingernails to the quick, heart pounding, eyelids stuck open and unforgiving. Be prepared to try to pull yourself from the web, as its stickiness holds on to you, even as you weep, and cannot forget...,
...cannot forget the base nature of us humans, even as the best are also caught in the web.
I liked the characters and the performance, and loved the story. However, have you ever asked someone what time it is, only to be bored with the details of how to make a clock?
This courtroom drama contained WAY too much detail. Don't even compare this author with Grisham, who knows just the right balance in and out of the courtroom.
That said, the story was good, the narrator was good, and I would cautiously recommend this book. After all, there are probably many out there who relish the details of clock-making.
Earlier in Americana a carrot-topped 4-yr-old girl was immigrating with her parents from Ireland, when she found herself with a family who had perished and taken in by a wonderful family of "colored folk" all the way to a plantation, and all the twists & turns you could expect to find.
The book was well-read and a very easy listen, in the fashion of The Help, where several members told their own version of events.
Everything was going along just fine until the last 5 minutes, it seemed, when the story line was wrapped up in a tight bow, one, which, if unraveled, could have lasted another 14 hours without tiring the reader.
This reeks of a sequel...
...the stench, the fire & brimstone... We pshaw today at how those ignorant people of the turn of the century, 18th that is, just a mere 300 years ago could have believed so fervently in Witches & Devils roaming the land, not to mention the then-peaceful redskins. My God! Have things changed so radically in so short a time!
You will travel down a "road" in a horse-drawn wagon, with barely a path to navigate, come upon a tavern! A TAVERN?? Well, just a shack that sells spirits and will bunk you on a straw mat with no "facilities"... so you have to traipse out into the wind, rain, and slosh mud to your ankles, well, one could only HOPE they were trudging in only MUD!
And so it goes, page after page, entrancing you, enticing you into the pages of a very believable tale long before the colonies, into a "town" of maybe 15 homes, more or less, then known as the city of Fount Royal, with very believable characters; a doctor who probably kills more than he saves with his blood-letting, while using smoked "hemp" as one of his better medicines, a jail with rats probably as big as today's house cat, and a rat-killing former circus performer who comes around to keep them as much at bay as possible...
I must say, the reader is excellent, but I could not give him his 5 stars because of the almost imperceptible gum chewing....RATS! (no pun intended...well...)
A wonderful piece of American History done here in a character study of an imperfect man and the woman who loved him. A scant 80 to 100 years ago life was fraught with unspeakable hardships. This is a very interesting, thoughtful and engaging tale of a family doing what they must to endure in the hard life of the American Northwest.
I recommend this book very highly; you will not be able to put it down.
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