Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2013
I have read (and loved) many historical novels about the civil war, the struggles between the northern and southern states, the ways of the Yankees and the Rebels, and the issue of slavery. This one is the best by far, because it is the only one that has broken down the barriers and prejudices into simple terms. Basic right and wrong. As I listened to this audio book, it became clear to me that the entire civil war, beginning to end, was a GOD THING. And I really have never thought of it in that way at all. I began to grasp the fact that the prayers and actions of a few simple, obedient, God fearing people really does matter. I gained not just head knowledge, but heart knowledge. So many things in this book are absolutely true. The racial prejudices of the north are still much worse than in the south. Yet the southern states are the ones that owned the slaves. Abraham Lincoln, (born in my home state of Kentucky, a state that remained neutral during the civil war), was, I believe a man sent by God to abolish slavery. Yet he was so hated that he was murdered while in office, not long after slavery was abolished. I will not soon forget this book and the simple truths that it brings. Love thy neighbor as thy self. Be a servant, as Christ was also a servant. Forgive others, as Christ has also forgiven you. This book is based on Christian principles, but it never preaches, never judges, never sees just one side. The losses suffered by both the north and south in the civil war was enormous. Many high school students would greatly benefit from reading and studying this in their history classes to gain a better understanding of what the war between the states really was about.
Okay . . . this is the second in the 1929 series . . . first of all, it's not historical fiction . . . Simon Sinclair is in a mental hospital, and he has the power to "see things" . . . second of all, the narrator is a woman, but she is speaking for Simon, she IS Simon . . . thirdly, this does not tie in with Jonathan's cross at all . . . UNTIL THE VERY END . . . and then it makes me mad . . . it makes me think that the third book will also be ruined, by turning it into something like this one . . . NOT an historical novel at all, but one of dead people talking to one another . . . I LOVED Jonathan's Cross . . . not sure the same author REALLY wrote them both.
Excellent historical tale of three friends, their wives, families and close friends that loose everything during the crash of the stock market in 1929 . . . I felt like I was there, in the rat infested apartments, with paper thin walls . . . where the three couples moved after leaving their fancy houses . . . told with amazing grit and honesty, the struggles of each individual draws you to them with unexpected emotion . . . and the lines of class and culture begin to disappear as the stuff of true integrity emerge . . . one of the BEST historical fiction books I've listened to yet . . .
I was completely captivated by this historical novel about the Countess Anna Maria Berezowska and her family during the Partition of Poland in the l790s. First of all, Polish history is something I knew very little about, but when looking a a map of that time frame, I found that Poland was a large land mass, beside Russia. This novel, based on a 200 year old diary of the countess, provides great insight into the battle for Poland's right to remain an aristocracy. Anna, living through the historic Third of May Constitution in 1791, which gave rights of land ownership to the peasants, paints a vivid picture of the rise and fall of the hopes and dreams of the Polish people, while suffering great losses of her own. Her colorful cousin, Zofia, her complete opposite, foils many of Anna's plans . . . while Zofia is wild and unconventional, her schemes sometimes backfire, even on her . . . I've already started the second book in the series . . . You can't go wrong with Push Not the River . . .
This was an interesting story of a flower child mama reaping the consequences of choices made in the '60s and '70s and what they did to her children. For the most part, it is a good story, although in many ways I felt like the rock solid part the grandparents played in the lives of Jade, Willow and Aiden was minimized. And from my own experience, having godly grandparents was enough to give me roots when my parents completely came off the rails . . . in many ways, having Beryl physically absent much of the time during Jade's childhood, probably lent stability to her life (although very painful). I had a difficult time also when Jade started "coming clean" with Max, her fiancee . . . in that she didn't come completely clean . . . Issues with Max's family were troubling for me, as well . . . The interactions with Jade, Dustin and his parents leave much to be desired . . . and were surprising to me, given the fact that Dustin's parents were high school sweethearts and married as teens. Dustin and Jade's meeting after 13 years was not totally honest and upright either, and I was left feeling like something was lacking. Overall, I WAS swept up in listening to The Sweet By and By, even though many times through out I found that things were not ringing true to me . . . things weren't adding up . . . the mercy, grace and forgiveness of our Lord are new every morning and there for us all . . . and I was pleased to see Jade and Beryl make peace. All in all, the book was good, just kind of disjointed and not exactly deep Christian fare.
Roz, who's eleven years old wants her daddy . . . what girl doesn't? And she, her brothers and her mother have left him and moved to a new town . . . where her mom now has a job . . . Her daddy cried like a baby when they left . . . he said he'd change . . . Now, of all the things, Tillie, the old woman who used to own the house that they've bought, comes sitting on the front porch, saying it's HER house. Tillie wants to die in their house. She and her husband built that house. Well, her mom needs a babysitter . . . so I guess Tillie's moving in! It's just all too much for Roz . . . who dreams of her mom and daddy reconciling . . . and living happily ever after. And Roz' new friend, Mara has some daddy dreams of her own . . . so they make a pact, they will keep each other's daddy dreams a secret. It's just that some things about daddy just don't exactly add up . . .
One of the best southern fiction books . . . captures the very essence of growing up in the south . . . the horrible hypocrisy that exists in some churches and some people . . . yet the inescapable HOPE that comes only from God and His followers . . . And the miracle of how God puts special people in the lives of children, even in the midst of turmoil and abuse, and leads them through the valley, continually toward answers . . . and toward good. There's no sugar coating here . . . no covering up "the ugly" . . . and there's plenty of it . . . Millie is the daughter of a cowboy, who beats her mother, nearly killing her . . . and her mama won't leave . . . in fact, she defends him . . . so Millie escapes by climbing her sweet gum tree or going fishing with her friend, Sloth. Or she reads. And she comes home and nurses her mother's wounds, while her daddy's gone off to another rodeo. This is a great listen . . . full of insight into the generational pain that haunts families . . . and the courage of one girl to confront it and choose a different path for herself.
Interesting and delightful listen! Early kings and kingdoms, jealousy and double crosses . . . and an ex-monk turned private investigator . . . the narration is first rate . . . and the twists and turns keep you on the trail trying to figure out whodunit.
I love historical fiction, and this is the first one for me set in Italy during the second World War. Based on true events, when the Germans invaded Italy and took over the homes of ordinary Italian families, this story of Benedetta, a girl who is caring for her father and younger siblings following the death of her mother, is a tale of horror, devotion, bravery and love.
What a delightful listen! Ms. Myrtle, retired eighty-something English teacher, with a yard full of garden gnomes . . . and a son named, Red, who happens to be the police chief of the small southern town . . . Well, she's trying her BEST to direct her wayward book club toward some classics, such as Dickens or Mark Twain . . . when WHAT should those totally uncultured, imbeciles come up with??? Well, a progressive dinner! That's what! Ridiculous . . . but it's a small town and Ms. Myrtle is voted down . . . so she goes along, even though she's a TERRIBLE cook . . . Great southern charm . . . a town full of busy bodies, in everyone's business . . . but with plenty of secrets . . . and a skillet full of surprises!
An Orthodox Jewish girl growing up at the turn of the century before WWI, in the holy city of Jerusalem, was expected to be married off in her early teens . . . to a man chosen by her father, unbeknownst to her. Esther, feisty and different than her siblings, and the apple of her father's eye . . . takes over the running of the house after the death of her mother . . . and she does all that she can to delay and discourage her father from choosing a husband for her. At school, she learns French and is introduced to art by her teacher, who becomes a life long friend. Esther finds that she is a talented artist, and yearns to paint . . . but as a Jew, it is forbidden. More and more as Esther grows and matures, she struggles against the desires of her heart . . . and the rituals of the Jewish faith, which seem to restrict her. Finally her father succeeds in marrying her off and Esther becomes a wife and mother. I found the book to be very interesting, sometimes so sad . . . and my heart ached for the confines of those in the Jewish faith . . . as I am Christian, and I am so very thankful for the freedom from "the law". Yet, the Jewish people, are God's Chosen people . . . and He has a plan for them. I was both happy and sad listening to Esther's time in Paris . . . wishing discernment for her . . . but in many ways, it was like a kid in a candy shop . . . wisdom did finally come . . . but with a horrible cost . . . and perhaps a loss of faith, or maybe a letting go of something that never was faith at all . . . I was pleased with the ending . . . and the choices that Esther made as a mature woman. The book is well worth the listen.
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