I was so excited to listen to these short stories. I knew that if Reese recommended it for her book club I would love it because I have thoroughly enjoyed all of her selections. While the stories a captivating and well told, there is a realism to the plight of Haitian immigrants in south Florida that is probably very honest, but harsh and heartbreaking and lacking hope or promise. I was so completely depressed when I finished these stories as they were so sad and so depressing. I kept waiting for the triumph of the spirit or the love of family and friends to come to the rescue but it didn't. I was ready to give up and I almost didn't start to the last story. I wish I hadn't because it bordered on horror (not my cup of tea!) So if you are interested in the subject matter, this is extremely well written and probably very honest, but beware that it will leave you feeling sad.
The characters in this story captured my heart completely. Their abduction from Africa and journey as slaves to America is pretty much what you would expect. It's excruciatingly brutal and heart breaking at every turn. The characters show strength and perseverance that defies limits. I gave up on this book because it is so devastating, but the story is so important. I'm so glad I met these characters and I really felt like I experienced their journey with them, which is what the best writers do! I simply cannot imagine how people survived these experiences and lived through such evil.
This was a wonderfully told story of a family that lived through the Spanish flu pandemic of the last century. It was poignant to read given we find ourselves in another deadly pandemic. I fell in love with each of the characters and found myself hoping for the best for each of them. I felt like I was part of the family that moved to the big city to start a new life only to find themselves faced with unbelievable tragedy and how they loved each other through the most challenging of times. Their goodness and hope in spite of the dire circumstances was touching and uplifting while still being very realistic. I highly recommend this book.
This is the prequel to my favorite book of all time The Pillars of the Earth. I love visiting the middle ages through the life of this family and their business and government interactions. The relationships are what you would expect but there are many surprises along the way as well. I find myself so involved with the characters that I'm offended for them at times and always empathetic to their circumstances. The brutality of the human race is nothing short of astonishing. Then again, so is the resilience and perseverance. I am savoring this book to make it last longer. I'm only reading a hundred or so pages a day, and at 900+ pages, that could take a while. All the better!
South of the Buttonwood Tree
I don't know how I found this book to be honest. But the cover art and the title were very appealing to me. Then when I read "magical realism" I was sold! It came home with a stack of books on my birthday when I treated myself to a shopping spree at the local bookstore. But didn't get read right away because I had too many books to choose from. (One of my favorite problems!)
I'm only a couple of chapters in and I can tell I'm going to love it!
Enjoy every chapter!
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