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Peculiar Savage Beauty

Narrated by: Rebecca Roberts
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The black blizzard is a formidable enemy. The furious storm blots out the sun and chokes the life from both man and beast. When RJ Evans finds herself engulfed in inky blackness and holed up beneath her Model AA Ford on an isolated plains road - dirt caked beneath her fingernails, skin flecked with blood drawn by the biting dust - she has no idea this trial won’t be her toughest.

What awaits her in the small farming town of Vanham, when she begins her job as a geologist for the US Soil Conservation Service, is even more daunting. Drought and overplowing by men determined to conquer the land have turned the once-lush plains into a brutal twin of the Sahara. Headstrong and intent on healing the earth through conservation farming, RJ must somehow find her place in a tight-knit community that welcomes neither women in authority nor changes to their way of life.

She befriends Woody, an autistic savant born in an era long before any medical diagnosis would explain his peculiar ways and unique talents. The locals label the young man an idiot and RJ an armchair farmer. Yet in each other, they see so much more.

Beating back the dust is a daily battle in a war for the land. It is a clash that creates unlikely alliances. As RJ learns she must rely on her adversaries if she is to survive the dangers of the Dust Bowl, she also grows to realize that she - like the land itself - is in desperate need of love and healing.

©2018 Jessica McCann (P)2019 Jessica McCann

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The Strength of the Human Spirit and Survival

RJ is a scientist in a time when women were homemakers. Rosa Jean is a little girl sent away by her dying parents finally returning home to a dying world. This is a story of the human spirit and how much it can endure. The dust bowl was a dark time. Families lost their farms. Children died of dust pneumonia. Women killed themselves because they couldn't take one more day of dust and dust and dust. It was a terrible time. This book tells that story with empathy and understanding.

The characters were real people. Even those who seem like they might be the villains of a more juvenile piece are shown to be frightened people trying to save the only life they know. I loved this book. I love history and my own grandparents told stories of the dust bowl.

The narrator was amazing and did a great job on the regional accents.

There were a few spots where there seemed to be some recording glitches and lines were repeated. Other than that this book was golden.


I was given this book for free at my request in exchange for a fair review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Different

I received this ARC via audiobook boom and this is my voluntary review. This story was different. It was entertaining and thought-provoking. It also showed how a resilient spirit and determination can get a lone woman through many circumstances. I loved the dog rescue. Sometimes in the story, I wondered who was rescuing whom. overall it was a good story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 04-21-19

An absolutely excellent listen!!!

I had some idea of the Dust Bowl era but I loved how the author characterized more of the human toll.

The story was absolutely brilliant!!! Rosie Jean/RJ was a geologist when that was unheard of for women. She suffered and succeeded and suffered. She loved and lost. She was reviled and revered; misunderstood and celebrated.

The narration was excellent!! RJ was a character with many layers and the narration stayed true to that.

The ending epitomized the pendulum swing that was this story - it was sad and celebratory.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great story

So first of all I had no idea about the history of the US and the dust bowl. I was listening to this story and that prompted me to read up more on the subject and I found some pictures online. How terrifying it must have been to live through that! I really enjoyed the story told here, and the different characters we got to meet. Very well developed and great job narrating, Rebecca Roberts really does a great 1930's voice. Took me a while to turn this one on, but I'm glad that I did. I received this audio book for free and this is my voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Historical fiction

I liked the book more than I thought I would. I loved how the author brought the history to life. I could imagine it has I listened to it.
My only problem is that I found it slow to begin with, I would have liked it to be more fast paced but other than this it is an excellent book and I would recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Writing and Great Narration

A truly special book. Ms Roberts brings great life and feeling to the narration and Ms McCann colors every detail of the period, from the hardships to the landscapes to the occasional beauty. I was disappointed it ended, I wanted to continue my engagement with the main characters. And without giving too much away, I would definitely visit the museum of art to see the "windows". Looking forward to the next McCann Book. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

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unrelentless

wow such a wonderful and unusual beautiful incredible and amazing story I will admit I cried in a lot of parts of the book it wasn't an easy one but it was an amazing story with so much meat in it I adored the narrator it was amazing

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great historical novel!

I recommend this novel to readers who like historical fiction. I especially liked the portrayal of a character on the autism spectrum.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful