It is safe to say that I have been an avid non-reader most my life. According to my mother I loved to read when I was young. That all changed while I was in Elementary, Middle, and High School. I have a feeling it was the forced reading of books that I had no interest in and at a pace that I could not keep up with. The irony is that the more you read the better you get and this absence of reading really hit me hard in that area. This only really became an issue in college, somehow I was able to skirt through high school with cliff notes and class notes.
Things are different now that I am almost 34. Though much busier that I was back then I have begun to read for fun again. Admittedly not much; but as time allows. I really have my Beloved to thank for that. Without her encouragement I would have not even tried. It amazes me how God works things out like that. There are so many things that I would have not experienced without her encouragement. I can easily see how I would be half the person I am today without her in my life.
I’ve read a few books since my reading reboot (Walden by Thoreau, Modern Homesteading by Mr. & Mrs. Wranglerstar, and Coming Home by Hari Kaur Berzins) but I just finished my first novel. I have never been a huge fiction fan but while looking through the Amazon Kindle Prime Lending Library I came across a book by Kirk Ward Robinson called The Appalachian. Its title alone was enough to peak my interest, for obvious reasons, and I figured it’s “free” so if I didn’t like it I was out nothing but time.
I have to say I was surprised with this one for sure. I walked into it having read the synopsis of an old (128 years old to be exact) Tennessean looking back on his past and the ills of society…or at least that is how I understood the synopsis…and found a heart wrenching journey through a man’s life. While completely fiction it is easy imagine it as truth. Kirk Ward Robinson does an amazing job of describing the places and people throughout. It is clear he did his homework on the places and times in the book, most if not all are actual places…many I have seen with my own eyes.
The last of the baby boomers Carlton is the youngest sibling in his family and lives through some of the most tumultuous and exciting times in the history of the United States. His life is filled with great highs and extreme lows and you are transported through that life with him. Well told in great details it is easy to imagine yourself with Carlton as these events unfold. Most of this book is spent looking back through the 1960’s to our present day with only the last few chapters looking into what is to us the future. The futurescape presented is easily believable and just as equally alarming.
I’m not much into spoilers so I won’t say much more about it’s content but I would greatly recommend it. However be prepared to go on a rollercoaster of emotions as you follow along the life’s story of Carlton Jeffries. I would say this is definitely a book for High School and up ages. Many themes discussed are adult in nature but all tasteful and not overpowering to the storyline. At 748 pages it took me 17 ish hours to read this book, but then again I am a slow reader after all, but it is easy to get sucked into. Consider yourself warned 🙂
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Thank you for the great review. I appreciate your kind words, and am pleased that Carlton’s story affected you as emotionally as intended.