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Love and Lament

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Love and Lament Cover

ISBN13: 9781590515877
ISBN10: 1590515870
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A dauntless heroine coming of age at the turn of the twentieth century confronts the hazards of patriarchy and prejudice, and discovers the unexpected opportunities of World War I

Set in rural North Carolina between the Civil War and the Great War, Love and Lament chronicles the hardships and misfortunes of the Hartsoe family.

Mary Bet, the youngest of nine children, was born the same year that the first railroad arrived in their county. As she matures, against the backdrop of Reconstruction and rapid industrialization, she must learn to deal with the deaths of her mother and siblings, a deaf and damaged older brother, and her father’s growing insanity and rejection of God.

In the rich tradition of Southern gothic literature, John Milliken Thompson transports the reader back in time through brilliant characterizations and historical details, to explore what it means to be a woman charting her own destiny in a rapidly evolving world dominated by men.

Review:

"Born in 1887, the year the railroad comes to fictional Haw County, N.C., Mary Bet Hartsoe is tough, humble, independent, and enduring — a true North Carolina heroine. Thompson's second novel (after The Reservoir) follows Mary Bet as she grows from a curious six-year-old who mistakes a circuit-riding preacher for the Devil to a survivor of war, disease, love, and progress. By 15, Mary Bet has seen her mother and her eight older siblings die, including beloved deaf brother Siler, who perishes in a puzzling accident. She is left alone to care for her father, Cicero, a Civil War veteran and storeowner now suffering physical and mental deterioration. Eventually she takes a job as a courthouse clerk and sometime deputy working for her cousin; after he leaves to fight in World War I, Mary Bet becomes North Carolina's first female sheriff. Thompson perfectly captures the Carolina Piedmont's sights, sounds, and flavors and convincingly depicts the turn-of-the-century South — haunted by the Civil War, and embracing old-time religion and new-fangled machinery and ideas. Underlying and uplifting his narrative is Mary Bet's vivid point of view: hiding while her grandmother breaks up her grandfather's drunken poker game, helping the sheriff chase down moonshiners, watching Cicero and Able, the son of slaves, try to grow bananas in North Carolina's climate. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“A seamlessly told and scrupulously detailed history of the Hartsoe clan of Haw County, North Carolina, Love and Lament is that rare novel that brings the gritty, rural past to vivid life.  I could very nearly smell the moonshine (the moonshiners too!). Pass a few hours with Mary Bet Hartsoe and family. You won’t regret it.” —T. R. Pearson, author of Jerusalem Gap and A Short History of a Small Place

Review:

“Love and Lament is an ambitious and exhilarating novel of the South at the turn of the last century. It is a book you’ll devour and savor. It will remind you why you started reading novels in the first place — to be enchanted, to be carried away from your world and dropped into a world more substantial and incandescent. John Milliken Thompson knows that every story is many stories, and he handles this complex tale of romance, family, race relations, and secrets with intelligence, grace, and tenderness. He has breathed life into Mary Bet Hartsoe and her benighted family, and they will breathe life into you.” John Dufresne, author of No Regrets and Coyote

Review:

"An appealing historical novel that blends gothic and plainly romantic themes." Kirkus

About the Author

John Milliken Thompson is the author of The Reservoir (Other Press, 2011). His articles have appeared in Smithsonian, Washington Post, Islands, and other publications, and his short stories have been published in Louisiana Literature, South Dakota Review, and other literary journals. He holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Arkansas and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Silvers Reviews, July 31, 2013 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)
One dead child after another and then their mother. How could Cicero stand any more? He only had three of his nine children left and was constantly worried they would be gone too. His worry wasn't over with the three that were still living.

LOVE AND LAMENT was the saga of Mary Bet Hartsoe and was set in the late 1800's when typhoid was rampant, when deaths were on a daily basis, and when inventions of machinery were beginning to surface to make factories and lives easier. The late 1800's was a time of change for everyone both personally and historically. The book dealt with many social issues and is very deep, thoughtful and intellectual.

LOVE AND LAMENT was beautifully written. The author had amazing prose and detailed, remarkable descriptions. At times the descriptions were so vivid, you could feel the grass under your feet, smell the aromas in the air, and share the pain of the characters. Despite the marvelous writing, it was a bit tedious and difficult to get into at first, but once I became attached to the main character, Mary Bet, it held my interest.

Mary Bet was the youngest of the nine children, the one who stayed with her father, and the one who was quite headstrong for a woman of that era. It was amusing to see the social protocol of that time especially the "rules" for courting and the woman's role in following these "rules."

It was a book about family, suffering, and living life no matter what circumstances are thrown your way. If you enjoy historical fiction, description at its finest, but details a bit too drawn out at times, you will enjoy LOVE AND LAMENT. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781590515877
Author:
Thompson, John Milliken
Publisher:
Other Press
Author:
Thompson, John M.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130806
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.52 x 1.12 in 0.96 lb

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Love and Lament Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Other Press - English 9781590515877 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Born in 1887, the year the railroad comes to fictional Haw County, N.C., Mary Bet Hartsoe is tough, humble, independent, and enduring — a true North Carolina heroine. Thompson's second novel (after The Reservoir) follows Mary Bet as she grows from a curious six-year-old who mistakes a circuit-riding preacher for the Devil to a survivor of war, disease, love, and progress. By 15, Mary Bet has seen her mother and her eight older siblings die, including beloved deaf brother Siler, who perishes in a puzzling accident. She is left alone to care for her father, Cicero, a Civil War veteran and storeowner now suffering physical and mental deterioration. Eventually she takes a job as a courthouse clerk and sometime deputy working for her cousin; after he leaves to fight in World War I, Mary Bet becomes North Carolina's first female sheriff. Thompson perfectly captures the Carolina Piedmont's sights, sounds, and flavors and convincingly depicts the turn-of-the-century South — haunted by the Civil War, and embracing old-time religion and new-fangled machinery and ideas. Underlying and uplifting his narrative is Mary Bet's vivid point of view: hiding while her grandmother breaks up her grandfather's drunken poker game, helping the sheriff chase down moonshiners, watching Cicero and Able, the son of slaves, try to grow bananas in North Carolina's climate. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “A seamlessly told and scrupulously detailed history of the Hartsoe clan of Haw County, North Carolina, Love and Lament is that rare novel that brings the gritty, rural past to vivid life.  I could very nearly smell the moonshine (the moonshiners too!). Pass a few hours with Mary Bet Hartsoe and family. You won’t regret it.” —T. R. Pearson, author of Jerusalem Gap and
"Review" by , “Love and Lament is an ambitious and exhilarating novel of the South at the turn of the last century. It is a book you’ll devour and savor. It will remind you why you started reading novels in the first place — to be enchanted, to be carried away from your world and dropped into a world more substantial and incandescent. John Milliken Thompson knows that every story is many stories, and he handles this complex tale of romance, family, race relations, and secrets with intelligence, grace, and tenderness. He has breathed life into Mary Bet Hartsoe and her benighted family, and they will breathe life into you.”
"Review" by , "An appealing historical novel that blends gothic and plainly romantic themes."
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