*UPDATE*

I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

I am no longer an Amazon Associate. I am currently working on updating my posts with links to various locations to buy books. One of the links I am including is to RJ Julia - this is my favorite local independent book store. You can shop their store online and have access to pretty much anything you are looking for. I do not have any affiliation with any of these sites - just looking to support my local indie book store.

Anyone looking for a new feed reader? My recommendation is Bloglovin'. I made the switch and love the layout, plus there is now an app for my phone. If you use Bloglovin' or have made the switch to another feed reader, please make sure you are following me on it so you miss none of the content here!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

the nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Kindle, 449 pages
St. Martin’s Press
February 4, 2015
★★★★★+

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Personal purchase from Amazon

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.
Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

The Nightingale was a book that I had seen making the rounds of Facebook, blogs, USA Today and other and everyone was raving about the book, however, I just wasn’t all that interested to find out more. I figured it had to be too much hype, since everywhere I looked there it was. So I put it in the back of my mind for later. At the HNS Conference in June during a lunch with Amy, Erin, and Stephanie, I was told that I NEEDED to read this book and that I would NOT be disappointed. So, I figured with such high praise from ladies whose recommendations I take seriously, I would pick this one up for the read on my flight home.

And let me tell you, I am glad that I did! I couldn’t put it down and that became even more difficult as the story progressed and I became more engrossed in the plot and committed to these characters. There were twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and it was exciting and fast paced – never slow for a second!

The Nightingale is more of a story of the women’s side of the war or life on the home front – you are not on the front lines with the soldiers but there was still a lot of action that occurred in the cities and towns in occupied France. The French women were right in the thick of the war even without being on the battlefield, unlike counterparts in much of Germany, Britain, and the United States. Their wartime experience was very different as they dealt with destruction to their communities, housing German soldiers in their homes, roundups of partisans and Jews, deprivations, and much more. As the reader, you have access to a well-rounded home front experience because of the dual narrators.

The story told here will take you through all of your emotions, from love to anger, gut-wrenching heartbreak, death and sadness, passion and panic; it’s all there and palpable. There was one scene particularly, toward the end of the novel, where tears poured down my face (if you have read the book, it is a scene involving Daniel – that is in no way a spoiler for those who have not read it!). I appreciated the treatment of the German Nazis who were a large part of the book. They were not, as a whole, portrayed as pure evil. There were some who were evil for sure, but some other characters who were conflicted or in small ways compassionate to what was occurring in the war – which I think it likely a more accurate representation of those involved in the war.

One thing I noted in as I was reading, was how I felt the influence of author Tatiana de Rosnay in some of the scenes or in some elements of the story telling. I found out when reading the acknowledgment section that Kristin Hannah credits de Rosnay in helping her with elements of writing the novel. I definitely felt her presence in the section of the book about the Vel d’Hiv round up – which is an event prominently featured in her novel, Sarah’s Key.

I LOVED this story and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes WWII novels, novels on the home front, or a really good historical novel in general. Thank you ladies for suggesting I read it!!!

If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book or listen to the author speak about the book.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

 

Also by Kristin Hannah:

comfort and joy

Comfort & Joy

firefly lane

Firefly Lane

fly away

Fly Away

home front

Home Front

magic hour

Magic Hour

night road

Night Road

true colors

True Colors

winter garden

Winter Garden

grand central

Short Story in Grand Central
[My Review]


Find Kristin Hannah: Website | Facebook | Newsletter

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Paperback Release of Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle & GIVEAWAY!!!

sistersoftreason

Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle
Book 2 in The Tudor Trilogy
Paperback & e-book, 480 pages
Paperback published June 30, 2015 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1476703108
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Book Blurb:

Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable. Elizabeth Freemantle brings these young women to life in a spellbinding Tudor tale of love and politics.

Neither sister is well suited to a dangerous life at court. Flirtatious Lady Catherine, thought to be the true heir, cannot control her compulsion to love and be loved. Her sister, clever Lady Mary, has a crooked spine and a tiny stature in an age when physical perfection equates to goodness -- and both girls have inherited the Tudor blood that is more curse than blessing. For either girl to marry without royal permission would be a potentially fatal political act. It is the royal portrait painter, Levina Teerlinc, who helps the girls survive these troubled times. She becomes their mentor and confidante. But when the Queen’s sister, the hot-headed Elizabeth, inherits the crown, life at court becomes increasingly treacherous for the surviving Grey sisters. Ultimately each young woman must decide how far she will go to defy her Queen, risk her life, and find the safety and love she longs for.


Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


About The Tudor Trilogy

queens gambit

The Queen's Gambit (Book 1)
Read an Excerpt
Read My Review

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Book Blurb:

Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives - two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth - Katherine must wed Henry and become his sixth queen.

Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine's survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor's edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.

watch the lady

Watch the Lady (Book 3)
Listen to an Excerpt

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Book Blurb:

The daughter of the Queen’s nemesis, Penelope Devereux, arrives at court blithely unaware of its pitfalls and finds herself in love with one man, yet married off to another. Bestowed with beauty and charm she and her brother, The Earl of Essex, are drawn quickly into the aging Queen’s favour. But Penelope is saddled with a husband who loathes her and chooses to strike out, risking her reputation to seek satisfaction elsewhere. But life at the heart of the court is not only characterised by the highs and lows of romance, there are formidable factions at work who would like to see the Devereux family brought down. It seems The Earl of Essex can do no wrong in the eyes of the Queen but as his influence grows so his enemies gather and it is Penelope who must draw on all her political savvy to prevent the unthinkable from happening.

Told from the perspective of Penelope and her brother’s greatest enemy the politician Cecil, this story, wrought with love, hatred and envy, unfolds over two decades in which we see the last gasps of Elizabeth’s reign, and the deadly scramble for power in a dying dynasty.

Find Elizabeth Fremantle: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Website


GIVEAWAY!!!

I have one paperback copy of Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle to giveaway away to one lucky reader from the USA courtesy of the publisher.  I'm trying something a little different and running the giveaway via GLEAM.  Make your entries through the giveaway app below (please let me know if there are any problem as this is my first time using this app myself).  The giveaway is open from today through July 30th.  Good luck!

Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle Giveaway

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, July 20, 2015

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop

The Road Home Cover Image

The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop
Book 2 in The Letter series

Paperback & E-book, 502 pages
Published June 23, 2015 by Oakglen Press
ISBN: 1511801247
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Book Blurb:

The Road Home is the follow-up to Kathleen Shoop’s award-winning debut novel The Last Letter. Inspired by real letters shared between her great-great grandparents, the series is rooted with raw emotion and visual descriptions that make the characters come alive. 

Find your way home…

1891—Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous “saviors” illuminate the Arthurs’ unmatched determination and smarts.

1905—Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother’s funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother’s passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Praise for The Road Home

"I loved this riveting tale of hope and redemption. The Road Home comes to life with gorgeous imagery and a setting that eased me seamlessly and beautifully back and forth in time. Each character stood out, coaxing me into her story, making me want more. With the turn of every page there’s a revelation, something hidden or something wonderful and unexpected. The Road Home is a must-read for any book lover and a perfect follow-up to The Last Letter."       New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melissa Foster

About The Letter Series

Series of novels by Kathleen Shoop is set in the Midwest of America in the late 19th and early 20th century. Shoop takes readers on an emotional journey through love, loss and redemption. Inspired by family letters, the novels pull from historical events and places and feature the life and times of the fictional Arthur family as they make their way in the world.

the last letter

The Last Letter (Book 1 in The Letter series)
Read an excerpt.

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About Kathleen Shoop

Author, Kathleen ShoopKathleen Shoop holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. Her third novel, Love and Other Subjects, earned a Silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival. Her second novel, After the Fog, (Silver IPPY), was a category finalist in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. And her debut novel, The Last Letter, is a multiple award-winner, including a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Kathleen lives with her husband and two children in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

Find Kathleen Shoop: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


the road home banner

GIVEAWAY!!!

I have one paperback copy of The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop to giveaway away to one lucky reader from the USA courtesy of the blog tour.  I'm trying something a little different and running the giveaway via GLEAM.  Make your entries through the giveaway app below (please let me know if there are any problem as this is my first time using this app myself).  The giveaway is open from today through July 30th.  Good luck!

The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop Giveaway

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Book Alert Book Blast: Naked by Eliza Redgold

02_Naked A Novel of Lady Godiva_Cover

Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold
Paperback & e-Book, 320 pages
Published July 14, 2015 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250066158
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Blurb:

We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.

Where to Buy: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | ITUNES | INDIEBOUND | KOBO


Praise for Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva

“Redgold’s variation on this enticing legend is often lyrical and offers a satisfying blend of history, lore, and romance.” (Booklist)

“Breathes new life into the story of the woman who would stop at nothing to protect her land and people.” (Romantic Times)

“NAKED delivers far more than the famous ride of Lady Godiva. It’s a beautifully woven story of love, loyalty, and the determination of a young woman trying to protect her people and their way of life, no matter the price. Godiva is a wonderfully strong woman in an age of dangerous men, and in NAKED, she certainly meets her match!” (Amalia Carosella, author of HELEN OF SPARTA)

“A wonderful, romantic retelling of the Lady Godiva legend. There is the colorful Anglo-Saxon backdrop, warriors, battles, peacemaking, desire, revenge and love – everything a fan of medieval romance could desire – plus a strong-willed heroin. Written with a lyrical lilt to her prose, Redgold adds realism to the myth and love to the lusty tale, allowing readers a glimpse into what might have been.” (RT Book Reviews)

About Eliza Redgold

03_Eliza Redgold_Author

ELIZA REDGOLD is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.

Find Eliza Redgold: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest |Google+

Follow the Tour:

03_Naked_Book Blast Banner_FINAL

Tuesday, July 14
Boom Baby Reviews
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, July 15
Genre Queen
The Maiden’s Court
What Is That Book About

Thursday, July 16
Bibliophilia, Please
The Reader’s Hollow
CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, July 17
100 Pages a Day
The Never-Ending Book

Saturday, July 18
Just One More Chapter

Monday, July 20
To Read, or Not to Read
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, July 21
A Literary Vacation
Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, July 22
Unabridged Chick

Thursday, July 23
So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, July 24
The Reading Queen

Saturday, July 25
Book Nerd

Sunday, July 26
Passages to the Past

Monday, July 27
Bibliotica
The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, July 28
A Chick Who Reads

Giveaway:

This giveaway is coordinated by the Tour Coordinator - I have nothing to do with this giveaway, except to post it.  To enter to win a copy of Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva & a $50 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Book Blast

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Review: Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer by Lisa Pliscou

jane austen becoming a writer

Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer by Lisa Pliscou
Paperback, 188 pages
Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing
April 20, 2015
★★★★☆

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Genre: Speculative Biography, Young Adult

Source: Received from Author for Review

What was Jane Austen like as a child? What were her formative influences and experiences, her challenges and obstacles, that together set her on the path toward becoming a writer?
Drawing upon a wide array of sources, including Austen’s own books and correspondence, Lisa Pliscou has created a “speculative biography” that, along with 20 charming black-and-white illustrations, offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of young Jane Austen. Also included is a richly detailed, annotated version of the narrative and an overview of Austen’s life, legacy, and the era in which she lived, as well as a timeline of her key childhood events.

YOUNG JANE AUSTEN is sure to intrigue anyone interested in Jane Austen, in writing and the creative process, and in the triumph of the artistic spirit.

I should start this review by saying…I’m not a Jane Austen fan! SHOCKER!!! I’m never interested in the Austen spinoffs, sequels, prequels, what-have-you that have come out in recent years. However, something about Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer stood out to me. I think it was more of a stylistic thing rather than the content that lead to me picking it up.

There are 2 “versions” of the book included here: the illustrated version at the front and the annotated version at the back. They both tell the same basic narrative, except that the annotated version contains expanded information. In the illustrated section, each chapter is 4 pages comprised of a beautifully scripted title page, 2 pages of narrative, and 1 page of illustration. The annotated version includes the same narrative as well as other helpful information to expand the understanding. When I read this book, I bounced back and forth alternating between reading the illustrated chapter and then the corresponding annotated chapter; I think this made for the most fulfilling reading experience as I could apply the notes right to the story being told. Despite the actual text length only being about 80 pages (each version) I felt like I actually learned a lot in that short time.

While the book is definitely designed for the younger YA set, I found it a very enjoyable read. The illustrations are a nice touch to the overall approach to the book. If you or a young reader like Jane Austen, then you will enjoy this book for sure. Even if you are not a Jane Austen fan, you will likely enjoy this book too, I did.

If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not check out this visual sneak peek?

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Find Lisa Pliscou: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, July 10, 2015

Trends and Recommendations in YA Historical Fiction

During the Historical Novel Society Conference this year, one topic that seemed to pop up in one way or another in every panel I attended, what young adult historical fiction novels.  Much of what was discussed was from readers who can't find enough choices and from authors who tend to have a harder time pitching YA novel to agents.  So one of the first things that I wanted to check out when I got home was what recent YA HF novels have been released.  I always tend to recommend novels from those whom I consider classic YA authors: Ann Rinaldi, Libba Bray, Carolyn Meyer, Scott O'Dell, and Eva Ibbotson.  Even though some of their novels were released a long time ago, I find them still relevant today and books that I love to share. 

Trends

During the survey of recently released YA novels (recent within the last 5 years or so) available on Amazon, I found a couple trends:

  • There appears to be more YA novels set in the United States than I typically see in adult novels and they appear across all time periods.  One critique I have heard is that not enough adult HF is set in America.
  • There appears to be less focus on royals and more on youth in interesting situations and settings - Africa, musicians, times of war
  • One publisher that I have noticed that publishes a decent amount of YA HF is Bloomsbury Children - I have enjoyed many of their books

Recommendations

Now for some recommendations - I have only read a couple of these, the rest are based purely because they looked interesting - a couple I do have on my TBR:

Michaela MacColl

  • Prisoners in the Palace - My Review
  • Promise the Night - My Review
  • The Revelation of Louisa May
  • Nobody’s Secret
  • Always Emily

Esther Friesner

  • Threads and Flames - On My TBR - Focuses on the Triangle Fire, so I'm excited for this one.

Princesses of Myth Series: Each is a 2 book series, I'm assuming there will be a sequel for Deception's Princess

  • Nobody’s Princess
  • Nobody’s Prize
  • Sphinx Princess - On My TBR
  • Sphinx Queen
  • Spirit’s Princess
  • Spirit’s Chosen
  • Deception’s Princess

Susanne Dunlap

  • The Musician’s Daughter - On My TBR
  • Anastasia’s Secret - On My TBR
  • In the Shadow of the Lamp - On My TBR
  • The Academie
  • Emilie’s Voice
  • Liszt’s Kiss

Lavender_Aftershock_1.inddbehind enemy linesjeffersons sons

Livia Bitton-Jackson

  • I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust
  • My Bridges of Hope: Searching for Life and Love After Auschwitz
  • Hello, America

Sherri L. Smith

  • Flygirl

Seymour Reit

  • Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy
  • Guns for General Washington: A Story of the American Revolution

Padma Venkatraman

  • Climbing the Stairs

Kirby Larson

  • Hattie Big Sky
  • Hattie Ever After

Caroline B Cooney

  • The Ransom of Mercy Carter

L.M. Elliott

  • Annie, Between the States

Mary E. Lyons

  • Letters from a Slave Girl

Vicky Alvear Shecter

  • Cleopatra’s Moon - On My TBR
  • Curses and Smoke - On My TBR

lettersfromaslavegirlopheliapromise the night

Dina L. Sleiman

Valiant Hearts Series

  • Dauntless
  • Chivalrous

William Lavender

  • Just Jane
  • Aftershocks

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

  • For Freedom
  • Jefferson’s Sons
  • The Lacemaker and the Princess

Lisa Klein

  • Two Girls of Gettysburg
  • Ophelia - On My TBR
  • Cate of the Lost Colony - On My TBR
  • Lady Macbeth’s Daughter - On My TBR
  • Love Disguised

Norah Perez

  • The Slopes of War

There are SOOO many more out there too!  If you are looking for even more recommendations, Amazon has a great sub-category for it and there are some excellent lists on Goodreads.  My guess is it might not be as easy to find these titles on the bookshelves of your local book store, but there are definitely choices available online!

 

Have you read any recent YA HF that I have not mentioned here?  Any special things you are looking for in YA HF?  I would love to hear it!!

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough

johnstown flood

The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough
Unabridged, 9 hr. 4 min.
Simon & Schuster Audio
Edward Herrmann (Narrator)
June 17, 2005
★★★★☆

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Genre: Non-Fiction

Source: Downloaded audiobook from Audible

At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal.

Graced by David McCullough's remarkable gift for writing richly textured, sympathetic social history, The Johnstown Flood is an absorbing, classic portrait of life in nineteenth-century America, of overweening confidence, of energy, and of tragedy. It also offers a powerful historical lesson for our century and all times: the danger of assuming that because people are in positions of responsibility they are necessarily behaving responsibly.

I have this thing about disaster stories – I get drawn in and can’t stop reading! The Johnstown Flood is no different. David McCullough weaves an utterly fascinating, and at the same time heartbreaking, tale of this disaster that did not have to happen. The residents of Johnstown faced an enormous wall of water and fire and destruction hurtling their way in the middle of the night, with nothing that could be done to stop it except to try and get out of its way. There were so many stories of people who just missed the destruction and those who somehow managed to hang on and survive the devastation.

While I wouldn’t say that any of the individual people stood out to me, the experience of the people as a whole and their resolve to survive and rebuild was striking and that is what I remember from the reading experience.  It's a story of how something done for the wealthy (creating a dam to create a country club) ultimately affected the everyday people of Johnstown.

While this book might not be one of his award winning ones, The Johnstown Flood is a well told narrative of a great American industrial age disaster that is mostly forgotten about by people today.

audiobookimpressions

★★★★★

Within the first couple of minutes of the narration I knew that I had heard this narrator before and I wasn’t wrong. Edward Herrmann has narrated several other McCullough books as well as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Walter Issacson, and Erik Larson. And Erik Larson is where I had heard him before (I also heard his narration in The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin), in another epic disaster book, Isaac’s Storm. This narrator has a way of reading that could bring even the driest material to life, so given an exciting narrative, he blows it away. The drama feels even bigger and more…well…dramatic! I highly recommend, pretty much any book Herrmann narrates!

If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out an excerpt of the book?  Simon & Schuster has both a print excerpt AND and audio sample on the books page.

Additionally, McCullough speaks about the book in this short video:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by David McCullough:

1776

1776

bravecompanions

Brave Companions

john adams

John Adams

mornings on horseback

Mornings on Horseback

thecourseofhumanevents

The Course of Human Events

the greater journey

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

the wright brothers

The Wright Brothers

thegreatbridge

The Great Bridge

thepathbetweentheseas

The Path Between the Seas

truman

Truman


Find David McCullough: Website | Facebook |

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court