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A Still Small Voice by John Reed
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A Still Small Voice (2000)

by John Reed

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A Still Small Voice follows the life of a recently orphaned girl name Alma from the point at which she's whisked away from the orphanage to live with her aunt until the very deserved ending of her particular chronicle. Caught in the war torn years surrounding the Civil War, Alma finds her true love in her best friend, John Warren, only to lose him countless times.

Meanwhile, she and her aunt make a living as herbalists, their wealthy neighbors lose their fortune, and their tiny town of Cotterpin undergoes a facelift as the years go by.

Beautifully and tenderly written, Reed manages to capture the voice of an elderly woman writing down her life for the sake of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. This is definitely an impressive feat, being that it is his first novel.

While the book doesn't really go anywhere, it's all about the journey. We see the fringes that the war has on the tiny town, caught between the North and the South in more ways than one.

Recommended for readers of Civil War-era literature and anybody else looking for a good first novel. ( )
  aethercowboy | Jan 14, 2011 |
This book is the story of a woman writing about her childhood which took place before, during, and after the Civil War in Kentucky. Alma was an orphan who goes to live with her elderly aunt in the country and makes friends whose family has slaves where her and aunt do not. Alma must grow up somewhat early, but that is only part of the story.

Sometimes the story kind of wanders into descriptions of remedies and gardens, but if you think about it it only adds credibility to the old lady reminiscing about her memories.

There is even some mystery thrown into the mix, and the end is very satisfying, which is something every good book must have.

I also enjoyed the cute little drawings of the different plants and animals that Alma seen growing up and added to her margins. ( )
  Tara22 | Dec 31, 2010 |
A beautifully written story, touchingly told. It has a strong sense of history; details are vivid and real. The writing is strong, passionate, and fluid. ( )
  pralada | Jun 1, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385334060, Paperback)

A spellbinding novel of love and war from "a young writer of great promise."
-- Paul Auster

Written with a storyteller's grace and a poet's touch, John Reed's powerful first novel is a true adventure of the heart -- at once a passionate love story and a sweeping historical saga set against a vivid backdrop of the Civil War....

The year is 1859 as seven-year-old Alma Flynt arrives in the Kentucky town of Cotterpin Creek to begin a new life. There, Alma will have as friends, neighbors, and benefactors the magnificent Cleveland family.

With their sprawling mansion and gleaming thoroughbred horses, the Clevelands are a wonder. But from the beginning, one Cleveland draws all of Alma's attention: the youngest son, John Warren.

Alma knew they were meant for each other from their first meeting. But everything changes as war descends on Cotterpin Creek, taking John Warren to battle and sweeping his family into the chaos.

Against this turbulent backdrop, Alma will come of age. And when the fighting is over, the story of a brave young man riding off to battle becomes a haunting journey of vengeance and redemption. And for Alma, yet another journey begins on the day a tormented young soldier staggers back into her life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"The year is 1859. Seven-year-old Alma Flynt arrives in the small Kentucky town of Cotterpin Creek to begin a new life in her aunt's home. There, a whole new world opens up before her eyes - a world of impossible grace and comfort, of lush pastures and billowing bluegrass. And there, Alma will meet a family who will shape the course of her life. The Clevelands, with their sprawling mansion and gleaming thoroughbred horses, are magnificent. But from the beginning, one Cleveland draws all her attention - the youngest son, John Warren. Of their childhood bond, Alma later recalls: "The stubborn fact was, without the slightest hint of imagination, that it was clear to him, and to me, and to everyone, that we were meant to be together."". "But like a swift storm cloud, the Civil War descends on Cotterpin Creek, taking men from the land and husbands from wives, never to return. Swept into the chaos are the Clevelands, and John Warren himself, leaving their fading mansion and sprawling horse farm behind. Against this turbulent backdrop, Alma will come of age. And when the fighting is over, the story of a brave young man riding off to battle becomes a haunting journey of vengeance, loss, and redemption. But for Alma, yet another journey begins on the day a strange, battered, starved, and tormented young soldier staggers back into her life."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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