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Janice Holt Giles (1909–1979)

Author of Hannah Fowler

31+ Works 1,210 Members 15 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

Author Janice Holt Giles was born in Altus, Arkansas on March 28, 1905. She attended Little Rock Junior College and then the University of Arkansas. She married Otto Moore in 1923; they had one daughter together and divorced in 1939. She worked as a secretary for church congregations and in the show more field of religious education. She met Henry Giles on a bus in 1943 and they began a two-year courtship, mostly by correspondence because he was serving in World War II. They were married in 1945 and moved to Kentucky in 1949. This is where she started her writing career. Between 1950 and 1975, she wrote twenty-four books of fiction, non-fiction, and short stories mostly concerning Appalachian life and culture. While many authors wrote of desperate mountain communities saved by outsiders, she wrote of desperate outsiders who moved into mountain communities to help others, but found that the people there helped them instead. She also co-wrote some novels with her husband such as Harbin's Ridge. Most of her books were bestsellers, reviewed in the New York Times, and were selected for inclusion in book clubs. She died of heart failure on June 1, 1979. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
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Works by Janice Holt Giles

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Gleaned from his personal journal and letter sent to home, this book documents the campaigns in NW Europe experienced by the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion, specifically A Company.
The 291st was "those damned engineers" that figured heavily in delaying and stopping Joachim Peiper. Giles was actually in a Repple Depple, trying to get back to the unit when Wacht am Rhein erupted, so he missed a good bit of the fighting in December. He spent that part of the book showing the huge inadequacies of the replacement system during the war. He was able to use first hand accounts from his comrades to tell the story of the defense of the Ambleve and other rivers,

Giles was evacuated with a badly infected ear in October and was released to return to his unit a week or two later. It was not until late December that he was able to get back to his unit, and this was only after he was able to locate the 291st and they sent someone to retrieve him.

This was good book, well edited. Worth the read and I wished I had been able to read it prior to visiting the north shoulder of the Bulge in 2014.
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Slipdigit | Nov 24, 2021 |
In 1823, Judith and Johnny Fowler led a wagon train from Arkansas territory to Santa Fe. Johnny also known as Johnny Osage because of his close relationship to that tribe of Indigenous people, guides the mule train on an unmarked trail through dangerous and often unforgiving country. The party faces impossible river crossings, water shortage, Indian attacks and treachery from within. Some of the descriptions of injuries whether from man or animal were extremely graphic.

Giles was a prolific author who wrote books in series that followed families making their way on the early American frontier.… (more)
lamour | Jul 2, 2019 |
I really enjoyed getting to know Hannah. While the history is very important to the story, Giles does a fine job making Hannah alive. Her background is curious—she’s actually 25 at the start, unmarried and apparently has never considered it. She has also not done much socializing, particularly as she has never seen a wedding until she herself weds Tice. Yet she seems to have no problem getting to know Tice, then Ann Logan, and finally Jane Manifee.

In addition to gradually revealing the contours of Hannah’s character, Giles also portrays the development of deep love and affection between Hannah and Tice and the bonding of the family of Hannah, Tice, and daughter Janie. All of this was great reading. Of particular interest to me at least was Hannah’s secret fancies about creeks “singing” and love of gourd flowers for their beauty; sadly, this side of her character she keeps hidden even from Tice, because her father had told her never to talk of such things.

As for the background, the frontier housekeeping is fascinating. The Revolutionary War is something happening far away, as represented by a single conversation. Occasionally some of the folklore bits seem forced, but overall the dialogue is natural.

Highly recommended to those who want to travel back in time to a realistic frontier setting.
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NinieB | 1 other review | Aug 1, 2018 |
A fantastic book, funny, poignant, and even if over 50 years old, of high relevance. It describes the life on a small Kentucky foothills farm for a year, and addresses issues of social justice, religion, work ethic, and humor and history. A great read, and I think a lot of people ought to read this book, especially if you are not from this area.
klockrike | 3 other reviews | Apr 4, 2017 |



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