Patrick D. Smith here tells the story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons. The story opens in 1858, when Tobias MacIvey arrives in the Florida wilderness to start a new life, and ends in 1968 with Solomon MacIvey, who realizes that the land has been exploited far beyond human need. Between is a sweeping story rich in Florida history.
A best-selling novel of Florida historical fiction, A Land Remembered was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and received the state’s highest literary award from the Florida Historical Society, the 1986 Tebeau Prize for the Most Outstanding Florida Historical novel.
©1984 Patrick D. Smith (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
This is by far one of the best books I've ever read. It intertwines history with the story line in such way that is absolutely brilliant. I would recommended this book to anyone. I fell deeply in love with every character in this book, so much so, that I never wanted to leave them.
So...you're telling me I can pay people to read books to me whilst I do other things?
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.
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Well written book on the history of Florida. Knew there were more cattle in Florida than Texas - know I know why....
Actually, it is Jennifer, not Michael. I enjoy a variety of books but am drawn to romantic historical fiction with a Christian message.
I took a chance and got this book in a BOGO deal and it is fabulous. This historical fiction novel takes place from the around the1860s until the 1960s. Over the century, you follow three generations of the McIvey men. This story has humor, history and emotion. Beware, there are a few tear-jerking moments, but overall it has a good message. I also felt the ending was a little abrupt. Otherwise great!
The story was linear and very easy to follow during casual listening times, such as during a long automobile drive. The use of historically accurate colorings throughout the timeline of the story turned it into a sort of quasi-history lesson also.
Mr. Guidall is one of the best narrators I cold imagine for a story like this.
Tobias was a great pioneer that exemplified the spirit of early Florida. Enough of his value system came through in the story to build the character without becoming preachy.
I am currently listening to another of Mr. Guidall's readings, but this was my first.
"Skillet" the African American slave who first became family, then broke out with a family of his own. His was a rare 19th century success story for a former slave.
This story provides a glimpse into a more esoteric aspect of American history. Not necessary typical of the deep south, but certainly a story of the strong pioneering spirit that created a civilization out of swamps and badlands unlike any other part of the nation.
There are too few books on the history of early pioneer life in many areas of the United States. Florida is one of those areas. This book is a real gem. Great descriptions of daily life, geographical surroundings and the commercial development of the state. I loved every word! And George Guidall is the absolute best narrator. I don't even hear him, I just see, in my mind, the pictures he is painting with the words. Have one negative thing to say, ''what do you read after finishing a 5+ book''?!
George Guidall reading Land Remembered is an experience not to be missed. In our library we do book discussions of Land Remembered every few years and everybody likes the book. The most recent one was a month ago which had 30 attendees and everyone raved about the book....not a dissenter among them. One local professional Florida storyteller tells me that there never would have been a romance the likes of which keep the Seminoles in the story. We didn't care. This is a book to give new Florida arrivals to learn a little bit about the history of Florida of the last 150 years.
THis is truly a captivating book that takes you on a memorable journey! Definitely a classic that can be read or listened to every few years!
Great performance by Narrator.
The audio version gives added depth and emotion to the story. The narrator did an outstanding job of diversifying the voices and conveying the intensity throughout.
The reunion of Zech and Tawanda where he meets his son, Toby.
Emma because she was such a supportive, giving person whose own inner emotions I'd like to explore.
As a native Floridian I couldn't believe I had missed this book. My husband and I listened as we drove around the state. We had an appointment in West Palm but got off the Turnpike and went along the northern rim and the eastern edge of Lake Okeechobee just as we were hearing about Sol turning that land into farmland. We had smelled the orange blossoms all through central Florida and found ourselves transported back in time. Then the spell was broken by the massive developments as we drove into Wellington. Progress or pollution? A sense of pride in my cracker forebears and an abiding pensiveness have stayed with me. This was an amazing shared experience for my husband and me and we have been recommending the audio book to everyone we know.
As a Florida resident, this was a wonderfully enchanting book. For better or worse it will give you a adventuresome new perspective of Florida and its history.
The mosquito hatch and the attacks on the herd.
Not that I am aware of.
All the men, but Tobias MacIvey set the tone for the entire family and their desire to be anchored to the land.
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