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My Father's Kingdom  Audiobook

My Father's Kingdom : A Novel of Puritan New England

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Publisher's Summary

In 1620, more than 100 devout men and women crossed the treacherous Atlantic Ocean and established a colony in the New World where they could build a righteous and Godly society. Without the fortuitous friendship of the Wampanoag people and their charismatic leader Massasoit, however, it is doubtful the holy experiment would have survived.

Fifty years later Plymouth Colony has not only survived, it has prospered, and more and more Englishmen are immigrating to New England. The blessed alliance with the Wampanoag, however, is in severe jeopardy. Massasoit has passed away along with most of the original settlers of Plymouth Colony, and their children and grandchildren have very different ideas about their historic friendship.

Thrust into the center of events is Reverend Israel Brewster, an idealistic young minister with a famous grandfather and a tragic past. Meanwhile, Massasoit's son, known as "King Philip" by the English, is tormented by both the present and the past. He is watching the resources and culture of the Wampanoag nation fade away at the hands of the English and desperately wishes to restore hope and security to his people.

In a world of religious fervor, devastating sickness, and incessant greed, can the alliance of their forefathers survive? Or will New England feel the wrath of tragic, bloody war?

©2017 James W. George (P)2017 James W. George

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  •  
    Lomeraniel Spain 07-29-17
    Lomeraniel Spain 07-29-17
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    "Interesting take of some American History"

    I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by James W. George. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

    This book relates the story of a colony in the New World fifty years after its arrival, and how they related to the people which had to share the land with: the Wampanoag. The new arrivals received a lot of help in the beginning, but later on they became much stronger than the Wampanoag and it seemed impossible to keep their agreements since their ideals and ways were too different.

    I was not sure what to expect from a book in which the word puritan was included in the title. As an atheist I am not very interested in stories with a religious background, but I found the subject historically interesting and this is why I decided to listen to this book. First I have to say that the fear I had was unfounded. There was some religion and religious men in this book, but this was inherent to the society of the time, and James W. George did a very good job in depicting 17th century people's ways in the New World. His writing had such beauty that listening to this book was a delight.

    It was at first a bit difficult to keep track of all the Indian names but making a quick list saved me some trouble later on. This is one of the things to take into account regarding audiobooks. With written books one can always go some pages back and check but with audiobooks if we are up against many new characters with exotic names at once, I find that lists are a must.

    When writing historical fiction I think it is difficult to find a balance between narrating what really happened and making it accessible to the general public. George did a wonderful job by making this subject known to people who did not know much about it like me. His characters were not very developed, but nevertheless it was easy to connect to them, even though I found difficult to understand why they acted like they did. I guess it was a different place and time, and with a much different mentality.

    I find this part of American History sad, but it is something that should become well known so that we can learn to avoid making the same mistakes. George has managed to make this history interesting and attractive to the reader. We all know how it went afterwards, but nevertheless I am looking forward to the sequel.

    Angus Freathy's style matched perfectly George's style. He did a wonderful job with the narration and the characters' interpretations. I noticed some different voices in some occasions, but most of the time I have to say that the characters sounded the same to me. The book was very well written, so there was no confusion possible, but I just wanted to mention this. There were some little issues like swallowing noises or noticeable breath intakes through the nose, but I was fine with it. Almost towards the end of the book (5:51:01) there is a little hesitancy when pronouncing a word, something that should have been edited, in my opinion. There was also a tiny background noise almost all the time during the recording, but not enough to spoil the narration.

    I really enjoyed this piece of history, and I am looking forward to the continuation of the series. If you are interested in history, just do not let it pass because it may seem too religious. It is not, but we have to keep in mind how important religion was at the time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather C USA 08-04-17
    Heather C USA 08-04-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent novel on a little discussed subject"

    The element that was the most interesting draw for me in selecting this book was the subject matter: My Father’s Kingdom focuses on the events in colonial America that lead up to King Phillip’s War. Now this is an area that I have only heard of in passing, did not learn about in any of my American History or Native American classes in school, and hasn’t been the subject of any novels that I have read. I’m always looking for new historical fiction set in America and love finding niche areas to read about and My Father’s Kingdom fits the bill. As the author points out at the end in his Notes section, this event was quite significant in early colonial history however most classes focus on the initial settling at Plymouth and Jamestown and then jump over 100 years to the Revolution, missing this unsettled time period entirely.

    In My Father’s Kingdom, James George tells the story through dual narrative of that of a Wampanoag and from the perspective of the Puritan colonists. Through this storytelling method we see the issues resulting from the clash of the two cultures from both sides and it felt fairly even in terms of balance. I never really felt that the author was choosing a side. There were some characters that felt sympathy for the other culture and then those who didn’t care one bit to live peaceably with them – which is likely rather true about perspectives of the time.

    There were some elements that bogged me down a little bit, primarily the emphasis on the Puritan ideals and religious belief, but I felt that it was important to get into the mindset of these colonists. At the same time there were some excellent action/drama scenes that kept the story moving; I especially appreciated the court trial scene of a group of Native Americans because of how ridiculous the whole thing was and how it showed the vast difference in the two perspectives.

    While the story ends just at the first shots, literally, of King Phillip’s War I thought that George did an excellent job of bringing the reader right up into those events with a solid understanding of the complex web of events that lead to it. You can easily figure out what the end result of the war will be, one of the characters analyzes that and speaks to his people about it, but you can still see why they make that choice to go to war.

    I would highly recommend this book for fans of American historical fiction as it will present something that is a fresh idea that has not been overdone.

    Audiobook discussion:
    Angus Freathy does a very good job narrating this book. His more subtle British accent lends itself well to the personification of the colonial characters. Freathy creates unique voices for all of his characters which lends itself to their uniqueness and how they stand out as individuals in my mind even looking back on it. His voice for one of Brewster’s adversaries is hilariously comical and heightened my enjoyment of the scenes he was in. Having grown up and lived in the area that this book takes place I did recognize some mispronunciations of locations and names, but it wouldn’t have likely been a noticeable issue for non-residents. I give Freathy kudos for actually singing the songs that make appearance in the novel rather than simply reading them. While not an excellent singer, his attempt at this made the listening experience feel more full and to what the author would have wanted the reader to experience; I know that I tend to sing songs in my head when I encounter them on the page even when I have no point of reference for the tune. Freathy asks for us to ignore his poor singing in the Author/Narrator notes, but I give him props for this, no apology needed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Writer's Reader 06-16-17
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    "A great listen that will have you time travelling"
    What did you love best about My Father's Kingdom?

    My favorite thing about this audiobook was how the rich language was brought to life by the talented narrator. The story transported me to the 1600s for 6 hours, and I was impressed with how much research was obviously put into recreating New England. The characters are fully developed and complex, and Angus did an outstanding job breathing life into them. I thought his voice was a perfect match for the story. Highly recommended listen!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Rutgers Michigan 08-27-17
    Sara Rutgers Michigan 08-27-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Native Americans and the Colonists collide"

    I was interested in reading this story because I am familiar with this era thanks to a family rich with genealogical knowledge. Interestingly, I recognized several names as being connected to my family history and even heard my family name as a minor character in the book.

    The history contained in this book was interesting and I think not well know. It definitely kept me listening through to the end of the book. A sad era in our history and lots of lessons to be learned. The narrator was an excellent fit for the book. I appreciated hearing the narrator's opinion of the book at the end.

    I also appreciated the authors note at the end letting us know what was genuine and what was just the covering for the historical framework for this book. Much more was historically accurate than I realized.
    I received this audio-book free for an honest review by the author, narrator, or publisher. Thank you!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 07-31-17
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 07-31-17 Member Since 2011
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    "An enlightening look into 1670s America"

    Set in the 1670s, Plimouth has become a thriving colony in the New World. However, the once solid relationship between the English settlers and the local Native Americans, the Wampanoag chief among them, has become strained. Culture clash, religious differences, and disrespect could lead to much bigger issues. Israel Brewster, a Puritan reverend, is a bit idealistic but believes people can be won over to the faith through compassion and mutual respect. Linto, a once orphaned boy, was adopted into the Wampanoag tribe. Great things are expected of him.

    While this story takes a little time to settle into, I found it quite worthy. At the end of the audiobook, there are two notes – an author’s note and a narrator’s note – and both express how this section of American history has mostly been overlooked. I wholeheartedly agree and it’s great that we now have a quality historical fiction novel to explore this section of history.

    I knew going into this tale that religion would play a significant role in the story. There’s the Puritans, the nearby Quakers, and the more enigmatic religious believes of the Wampanoag. However, the first 2 hours of the tale are rather weighty with Biblical verses and such. For me, this was almost too much. While I appreciate knowing the lay of religious land in historical fiction, this first part was quite top heavy with it. That said, I’m very glad I stuck with it. The religious context, once established, slides to the side to make room for more interesting stuff. By the end of the book, I was looking around for the next book.

    Linto was the most interesting character to me. He’s genuinely interested in the English and their odd ways. In fact, I really loved his way of repeating back Biblical stories when talking with Israel. The author did a great job in showing this culture clash that was going on at the time. The conversations between Linto and Israel really showed how strange some of the English and Christian ways were. Linto also carries quite a lot on his shoulders in his adoptive tribe. His own tribe was wiped out by disease, the Wampanoag finding him as a lone survivor as a baby. His adoptive father, Metacomet (Sachem or leader of the tribe), expects much from him especially as their Powwas (spiritual leader).

    Meanwhile, Israel has an interesting story arc as well. He’s suffered a horrible tragedy and feels deep spiritual guilt over it. In reaching out with compassion and mutual respect (for not only the nearby Native Americans but also the Quakers in a nearby colony), he loses face with the Puritans. His life spirals out of control but much later in the book he finds his feet again and is able to provide a key piece of info to Linto about an event that happened a generation ago involving Metacomet’s older brother Wamsutta. Massasoit, Metacomet’s father, had welcomed the Puritans to the area 50 years ago. Both Israel and Linto want very much to preserve a peace between the Wampanoag and the English colonists. However, the Wampanoag have legitimate gripes with a colonist they refer to as Skunk Genitals. This, among other serious issues, could undo that peace.

    There are a few female characters in this story and one or two of them even have spoken lines. Yes, this tale is woefully light on gender balance. The ladies during this time were important too and it’s a bit sad to see them overlooked. Despite this weakness, I still enjoyed this novel once I settled into it.

    Towards the end, there is some courtroom drama which I felt would change the future one way or another. The author did a great job of building the suspense and not giving away how things would turn out. Since I haven’t studied this part of history, I really appreciated this. While I had heard of King Philip’s war in passing, I never really understood what it meant. Now I have a solid idea of what events lead up to it. I’m looking forward to Book 2 to see how things continue to unfold.

    I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobook Worm.

    The Narration: Angus Freathy was a good fit for this book. He has a variety of English accents that suited the various English colonists. He kept each character distinct. His female character voices were lacking femininity though. There is a little bit of singing which I quite enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LaPazBC 07-10-17
    LaPazBC 07-10-17
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    "I enjoyed it!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of My Father's Kingdom to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version.


    What does Angus Freathy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The British accent of Angus Freathy made this book a little more interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    A movie would be interesting! Provided that the author’s research is trustworthy, I learned much about the daily life and customs of the American tribes and the Pilgrims in this work of fiction.

    I received this audio-book free for an honest review by the author, narrator, or publisher. Thank you!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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