South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States | Member Since 2007
Yes, this is a wonderful slice of old-time family life. All the family values are there. Even religion, and that is beautiful, especially as spoken by the father. I love the way parents and grandparents are respected, and they actually come up with good solutions and wisdom to apply to the situation. There are so many sweet touches in the story, like when the boy is served coffee for the first time, without comment from the men.
As a town girl and wildlife rehabilitator-volunteer, I winced to hear about killing coons. I have bottle-fed baby raccoons and tolerated the antics of older coons when they are being fed and their home cleaned. Likewise, I almost cried for the big tree that "had" to be cut down. I saw no sense to that! Same with the boy's attitude toward the predator mountain lion, i.e., the only good one is a dead one! So if I had kids or grandkids listening to this story, I think we would be talking about changed attitudes since it was written.
So the story had to end somehow, but I am adding my own ending: Papa found a good job in town; the kids settled in at the school; Billy took up maybe a paper route; and Mama gave them a baby brother!
Anthony Heald deserves 8 stars for his narration. His tempo is quite fast when the action is intense. He can switch his voice wonderfully to narrate conversations. A usually slow reader would surely enjoy following along with the book.
Somehow I had expected this would be simply Tom Paine's writing, not a whole book about him. History, philosophy and politics are not my strengths, but I've lived long enough and traveled enough that I do care about these things. I found another audio book on the same topics, Founding Brothers, very difficult listening, although I believed it was well narrated. This book by contrast is almost suspenseful. The narrator reads with great understanding, but the book is written so as to be interesting. This author has an exciting mind!
Back in high school I didn't really get it about the deists. And who cared about the Louisiana Purchase? Paine was already trying to solve the problem of slavery, develop a plan for freed slaves. Paine even foresaw a need for a welfare system. Well, goodness! It's a most stimulating book. Educational, exciting, most worthwhile.
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