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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 37 star ratings
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4.5 out of 5
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    Ambitious Read, Very Enlightening

    Michener's specialty was to pick a geographic location and then tell the epic and sweeping saga of that location spanning centuries and generations.  Chesapeake covers roughly 400 years, beginning with Pentaquod, who is forced to leave his Susquehannock Indian tribe.  Pentaquod lives a solitary existence on the shores of the Chesapeake, until he finds the Nanticoke Indian tribe and happily settles into life with them.  The story continues with the white settlers in the area, through to the American Revolution and on to modern times. Chesapeake follows the generations of a few families: The Catholic Steed family, wealthy landowners of the area.   The Turlock family, freed indentured servants and basically live off the land. The Quaker Paxmore family, trying to escape religious persecution. The Cates family,  descendants of slaves. There are numerous characters, and they are fully detailed.  My favorite is Rosalind Janney, who marries Fitzhugh Steed.  Rosalind is not pretty, but she is smart and embodies all the characteristics of a person with a good heart.  Fitzhugh is actually good for nothing, and she ends up running their plantation.  When another woman is publicly whipped, Rosalind bares her own breast to stand in solidarity with her neighbor.  She goes on to build a home called Rosalind’s Revenge, which is a central part of the coming stories.  You'll need to read the book to find out why it was named so. The book’s main theme is slavery.  A great deal of time is spent on the slave trade, transportation of slaves and piracy on the seas, plantation owners, and moral and religious resistance to slavery.  Other themes are racism in all its forms, morality, religious persecution, wealth and poverty, politics and environmental issues.    This is the first Michener book I have read, and I did enjoy it.  Michener’s writing is magnificent.  I would have rated it 5 stars if there were less detail about the ships of the time.  Michener details everything, and my interest definitely waned during some of the ship building descriptions.  I also liked the first three-quarters of the book better, as the characters were portrayed more vividly.  At over 1,000 pages, his books require an investment of time, but I think it was well worth it and will do it again.  I’m not sure which, but South Pacific, Hawaii and Poland are among my next Michener picks.  
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    Chesapeake

    This was a super read and engrossing from start to finish. I learned a lot of history and thoroughly enjoyed the process.
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    Chesapeak A

    Still the best book i have ever read.his characters always come to life.

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