Thursday, September 8, 2016

Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees

Welcome one and all!  I hope all of you are having a wonderful Thursday. Thanks to the hot weather, my yard is finally drying up (I was getting tired of muddy dog paws).   Guideposts has a new cozy mystery series titled Tearoom Mysteries.  The first book is Tearoom for Two by Susan Page Davis (she is a good writer).  I just received the first book and I am looking forward to reading it (I am determined to find room in my schedule for it).  

Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees by Janie DeVos is set in Howling Cut, North Carolina in 1916.  Grandma Willa is the matriarch of the family.  Willa was originally married to Malcom who turned out to be a very violent man.  Willa was fortunate to escape him and start a new life (with some help).  Willa has one son, Calvin.  Calvin married and stayed on the farm.  Calvin and his wife had five children (Rachel, Merry Beth, Prescott, and twin boys).  But then the influenza hits the family, and the twin boys (the newest babies) do not survive.  The mother does not handle their death well and ends up institutionalized (for the sake of the other children).  The mother is never the same again.  When Rachel was four, she was in an accident at her father’s mill.  The leg was not set properly and Rachel has a limp (which causes ridicule from other people).  We get to see the children grow up on the farm and see what choices they make.  Rachel and Grandma Willa are the main characters in the story and we get to see things through their eyes.  We also get to find out about Grandma’s past and how she ended up on the farm.  Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees is the story of growing up on a small farm in Howling Cut, North Carolina in the early twentieth century.

As you can probably tell, I found it hard to summarize this book.  It it basically is telling the story of a multi-generational family growing up in a small community in North Carolina in the early 1900s.  The family has it ups (very few) and its downs (so many terrible things happen to this family).  Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees is a very slow paced story.  It contains violent and graphic scenes (very disturbing).  The writing is good, and the writer did a very good job at capturing time and place.  I did, though, find the book to be dark and depressing (though realistic).  It was just not to my liking (I read to escape).  I give Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay).  Now while this novel was not for me, others will enjoy the tale.  You can get a sample to see if it is for you.

Janie DeVos next book is The Art of Breathing and it will be out in February 2017.  I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

I am off to do some housework.  I appreciate you taking time out of your day to stop by.  I am currently reading A Love Made New by Kathleen Fuller.  May all of you have a blessed evening.  You deserve it.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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