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Publisher's Summary

A tender, tense, and heart-wrenching journey into the heart and soul of 1860s Civil War America!

When the tumultuous decade scatters her family across the war-torn country, Suzanna Whitlock is left alone in the bucolic Iowa village of Afton to manage the family's lumber mill while other family member engages in the nation's dividing conflicts: Her husband David in the savagery of the Civil War, son Johnny in the Paiute Wars in the vast Utah territory, and daughter Elizabeth in the volatile campaign for women's suffrage in mid-century Chicago.

Courage in the face of tragedy and prejudice

When reports of her husband's death place the future of the mill at risk, Suzanna battles prejudice, loneliness, and greed in her own struggle to establish position and recognition in a business world that is "for men only." Her only hope is to keep the Whitlock estate intact until she can again bring her family together.

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©2016 Kent Farnsworth (P)2019 Kent Farnsworth

What listeners say about Wild Whistling Blackbirds

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Disturb not my slumbering fair

Wild Whistling Blackbirds looks at historical events through the prism of a love poem that calls for blackbirds to ‘disturb not my slumbering fair’. In a larger context, this story is about struggling for the balance between a state of action and a state of dream, the forces of rebellion and weight of stability, as expressed through an engaging, complex family saga set in 1860s Civil War America Suzanna Whitlock is left alone in the village of Afton to manage the family's lumber mill. Meanwhile, her husband David, fighting in the Civil War, is listed as dead, her son Johnny is fighting in in the Paiute Wars in the vast Utah territory, and Elizabeth, her daughter, is fighting for women's rights in mid-century Chicago. Against the background of this chaotic era, Suzanna longs for a perfect world where “sons did not die before they reached full manhood and daughters didn’t yearn to leave to become lawyers the likes of a president. Husbands didn’t wake in the middle of the night with the fury of battle thundering in their heads.” But in such a world, with no disturbances, her life would mean little more than slumber. Thomas, her son, is a rebel from childhood. “Afton could use a few wild whistling blackbirds.This town is far too sleepy and needs a bit of disturbing.” Her son Thomas returns home very ill. At his request, etched on his gravestone is the inscription, “A wild whistling blackbird.” I got the audiobook through Audiobook Unleashed and enjoyed the delivery by Gryphon Corpus. This is another thought provoking story from Allen Kent. Highly recommended!

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Sweet Historical Fiction

This was a very intriguing book covering a great variety of historical events of America. The Civil War, the Pony Express, the limits of women prior to the suffrage movement, and more are discussed as the Whitlock Family are dispersed across America! I thought the narration was superb and really brought the book to life!!

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Beautiful Historical Fiction Saga

I loved first one and this one is just as good! I have really been enjoying the narrator too, she does such a great job bringing it to life. If you like clean historical fictions then these will be a great addition. It picks up where the first left off so I would say they aren't really standalone books. I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Even better than the first book

It is now the 1860's. The Whitlock family has grown up and scattered to the winds. As the story follows their individual paths the family comes back together, but not without fear and grief. Some important threads of mid-19th century America are here: the Civil War; women's rights; America's expansion into Indian country; the lack of protection for workers in new industries where the dangers are hardly known. If the book had a weakness, it was that each family member's experiences are covered only superficially. There is enough interesting material here (and in the first book, River of Light and Shadow) for the author to write one of those generation-following blockbuster novels. I wish I could have been there when Johnny met his wife, and when Elizabeth went to Chicago. Would I have picked the book up if it had been a generational blockbuster? Maybe not. I tend not to like them. But I like this author. If he wrote it, maybe I would like it. Also, I love reader Gryphon Corpus's interpretation of the characters. I feel like rather than being read to, I am the proverbial fly on the wall.

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Good follow-up

I was given this free copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. With that being said... I enjoyed the continuation of the family saga. Was disheartened when it ended. Would greatly love to hear the next story about "Suzanna' Song".