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
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Spanning 100 years of the fictional family MacIvey, in the style of Michener epics we are introduced to the history of Florida’s developmental heydays. The human characters are interesting and mostly appealing if a bit predictable, but it's the land itself that is the central character. The author ably communicates a love and respect for the wilderness that used to be, and his sadness and outrage at the greed that destroyed that paradise. A favorite passage occurs at a prairie watering hole by the light of a full moon, when a parade of wild creatures take turns and share the water without violence between predators and prey. An obvious metaphor, but memorably written. I did find myself breaking from the book to do some quick internet searches on some of the topics and events and to check out maps to augment the story.
Overall I liked the story as a somewhat lightweight historical fiction. George Guidall’s reading is not his best effort. While he does fine with the narrative portions, for some reason he seemed compelled to deliver most of the dialogue at a rapid fire pace, as if all conversations were frenetic and excited. Can’t quite give it 5 stars, but can give it a recommendation for those who enjoy an easy peek into a little known slice of regional history.
Family, Frontier, Florida
The passage of time, beginning in frontier Florida, takes you through three generations of a pioneering family is the wilds of Florida. It's a wonderful tale and especially poignant if you are from Florida as I am. I never had an image of what life would have been like in Florida as one of the first settlers to the area. This was a great novel!
Very lovely narration, easy to understand each of the characters different speaking styles.
Read it, you won't regret it!
My 50 + years in Florida I've seen many changes some good but most not so good. The historic changes and sacrifices these families made to settle this land is very interesting.
One of the top ten books I've ever read or listened to -- well deserving of a pulitzer prize winner. This book is required reading in many school districts because of the historical aspects. The characters are also very well developed.
Best Book Ever!
No other narrator would have done as great of job. His voice was perfect for the book.
I enjoyed this book so much that I listened to it twice. By listening to this book as one of my first audiobooks, it ruined my taste for other books. There will never be a book as good as this one for me. I live in south Florida and I felt as though I knew where he was talking about all the time. I wish they would make a movie of this book.
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.
This is an engrossing story that is written to bring visual images to mind. The listener learns much about the history and atmosphere of "Old Florida" while following a family chronicle.
Guidall is, as usual, and excellent narrator.
I was sorry when it ended.
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.
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