This is my first review for the Southern Literature Reading Challenge 2021.
I absolutely enjoy reading about happy people in the happy village doing happy things. A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith is NOT that story. I'd never considered, nor would I have imagined, how very hard life on the Florida frontier would have been. That's to say nothing of the hurricanes!
The story spans three generations of the MacIvey clan. They are good people, kind and hard-working and real. They make mistakes. They do things they regret. They battle wildlife, environment, weather, and greedy, dangerous men. They don't always win. But they stick together, and they never give up. Not only did I find myself rooting for them throughout the story; I also cried a few buckets.
The Florida frontier-- as well as early Palm Springs and Miami -- are described in alternately wonderful and devastating detail. This is a historical, award-winning novel. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and I can understand why. I learned so much from this novel, beautiful in its tragedy, humanity, and truth.
I listened to the Audible version of this book. George Guidall does a magnificent job with the narration. He does the book justice, adding even more depth and emotion to an already mesmerizing story and bringing the characters to life.
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran