Charleston follows the lives, loves, and shifting fortunes of the Bells - saints and evil-doers mingled in one unforgettable family - from the American Revolution through the turbulent antebellum years to the Civil War and the savage defeat of the Confederacy. Delving into our country's history as only he can, Jakes paints a powerful portrait of the Charleston aristocracy who zealously guarded their privilege and position, harboring dark family secrets that threatened to destroy them all. Sweeping from the bitterly divided Carolina frontier of the 1770s through the tragic destruction of the city during the Civil War, Charleston represents America's premier storyteller at his very best.
©2002 John Jakes (P)2011 Simon and Schuster Audio
I looked forward to listening to this John Jakes book. I was very disappointed. The characters were predictable and boring. Not to mention that while the actual history was researched and factual, the characters acted in a way that did not reflect the society in which they lived.
Not really my usual choice but I was visiting Charleston and wanted to understand that incredible city better. A little heavy on the romance and melodrama but those descriptions seem to characterize the times.
Charleston ranks among the top of the audiobooks of my listening experience. John Jakes, once again has proven his story telling skills while integrating historical events of the time. As a former social science instructor with this era being my area of concentration, I noted some events not in the chronological order of history, yet he explains it well in his afterward and gives his reasoning behind the 'slips' of time. This is a nice companion piece to his "North and South" series giving a clear perspective of the people of Charleston, their beliefs and determination. I like the mention, on occasion, of the Main family that ties them together. I think it explains much regarding the severe hostility of post Civil War among Charlestonians and the south in general toward northerners. Though much time has passed, it is clear to see the effects of this bitter time in the south and explains so much of the feelings of the people which are understandable given the atrocities of pre, during and post Civil War days.I highly recommend "Charleston" to anyone who has had experience with the "North and South" series and wants to learn more of the area and its people/
Usually I don't have one character that stands out in a piece as it takes them all to make a story. However in this book, Alex emerges as one outstanding woman who would stand by her beliefs to the point of leaving her family and braving the trip and settlement in the north and taking the risks that were involved in publically conveying her story and encouraging others in freedom for all and women's suffrage. Her return to her home state during the war, knowing the hostility that she would and did face and given the choice remained through threat to her family and her personal life speaks of a conviction and determination that served her well. She was a true caring person for others, no matter their race or gender and kept to her beliefs no matter what.
I probably would if it was a well known author that I liked. However I don't care for his style of reading. He reads too fast and in a book born out of the south, not once did I hear the classic southern drawl that is so distinctive of that geographic area. I kept waiting to hear it, know that during revolutionary times it probably wasn't yet present, yet there comes a time in the history of the south the is it most definitely present. That takes away from the authenticity of the read.
Charleston is a perfect name for this book. After all, this is what its about!
I was very disappointed in this one. Thais story did not even hold my attention and the story was so boring I couldn’t ever finish it.
Expected better from this author.
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