the next good book

The Story Of Land And Sea

By Katy Simpson Smith


241 pages

What’s it about? This novel is set in North Carolina at the end of the Revolutionary War.   The story is told in three separate parts.  Each story is told from a different character’s perspective. What did I think? At first I was not so sure about this one.  I kept on reading because I had heard so much about this book.  Rumor has it that this was a highly anticipated first novel.   The rights to the book supposedly caused a bidding war between two publishing companies.  For this reason I plodded on past page 50.  I was glad I stuck with it.  Some of the phrases were just beautiful and the last two parts of the novel made the first part resonate in a way I didn’t expect. Should you read it? The longer I read this book, the more I liked this book.  The author is very talented and I will be looking forward to her next book.   The first part of the book was hard to get through, but taken as a whole the book was good (not great) and well worth reading.  It tackles some difficult subjects and leaves you thinking.  At the start of the novel-  maybe I just expected too much….  If you like historical fiction (or just beautiful, lyrical writing) then I would recommend this book for you. Quote- “So many things become easier with age.  Those dire emotions that wracked his body, pulled it from guilt to rage, from desire to accusation, have been softened, the sharp edges rubbed dull.  If Asa has learned one thing in his years of grabbing and planning and blaming, it’s that he is nothing but a bystander in God’s game.  If there is joy in life, it lies in patience, in watching the Lord’s creations unfold.  He sits in the boat, clean of any anger, and witnesses the rain, the boat, the yaupon, the clouds, the spring.  He waits.”

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