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Publisher's Summary

Praised by Alice Walker and many other best-selling writers, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree is an award-winning debut novel with incredible heart about life on the prairie as it's rarely been seen. Reminiscent of The Color Purple as well as the frontier novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Willa Cather, it opens a window on the little-known history of African American homesteaders and gives voice to an extraordinary heroine who embodies the spirit that built America.

©2016 Ann Weisgarber (P)2016 Penguin Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book.

Any additional comments?

My only issues with this book is the narrator and the cover photo. The narrator herself was great but her voice I don't think was the best. I had a hard time not picturing the children as little caucasian children. That voice with the cover photo I wanted to make the main character bi-racial. Inside it clearing states over and over that the main character is dark skinned. Its a part of the story. Strange choice in narrator. Still the story was so great I couldn't stop listening and came to the end to quickly!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good historical drama

Very good historical book about a black family working to eck out a living in the brutal Dakota Badlands. The author is good at making Rachel and Isaac DuPree into multi-faceted characters (though Isaac isn't particularly sympathetic, and Rachel is often too weak willed). The plotting is rather slow-paced, but the drama of daily living in a harsh, unforgiving environment drives the narrative. (I recommend having a bottle of water at the ready while listening to the descriptions of drought; you will need it )

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Well done!

I truly enjoyed the story and it's narration! I would love for there to be a sequel!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Reeda
  • Levelland, TX, United States
  • 10-08-16

Not your typical pioneer book

This was a good story with a different perspective. My only complaint (if you can call it that) is the narrator's voice did not match the main character. She did a good job but it was like mixing oil and water.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful surprise!

I loved this book! Do not be misled by the reviews that say the narrator sounds Caucasian.. she does a brilliant job. Her voice represents Rachel perfectly - a black woman who was born in the south but spent most of her young life in a large midwestern city of Chicago and is well educated into her teens until she must quit school and go to work. It’s a tough read emotionally but so very worth it. I fell in love with Rachel and am eagerly waiting in a sequel!

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1800s homesteading in all its pain & minutiae

It's hard to come upon books that deal with the day to day women's work of the past. I wonder if she called this a personal history because as opposed to men's histories, it isn't about conquering or achieving something great in the world's eyes so much as the work women did privately and the Incredible strength that they had. what they cooked, the furnishings of her home, her Chicago childhood as a black girl in the early 20th century, what they wore, how they secured water, the little things she was able to give her children such as rag dolls and fairy tales. Some parts of this book were difficult to listen to. It just goes on and on. Hungry children gathering cow chips for the stove in the miserable biting cold of South Dakota. Their thirst through the drought is palpable; the dust in their throats in mouths and how she dreams of washing everything when the rains come, as her husband promises they will. What I really loved about this book, aside from satisfying my curiosity about what it would have been like on a daily basis to live as a woman in that time, is the pure, selfless heart of Rachel Dupree as she works to maintain her love for her husband and her children's innocence, wanting to give what she calls a dab of sweetness to their lives, which she admits will probably mostly be hard work.

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Loved this book!

Great story! Emotional and thought-provoking. The reader did a wonderful job of bringing the story to life. Loved it!

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bravo

this was a wonderful story and I hope there is a sequel to tell us more!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Didn't buy it

How could the family live on a cattle ranch and yet be starving? Couldn't they kill a steer and eat hamburger? This confused me. Still I liked the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful