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    Novel captures time and place

    Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees by Janie DeVos is set in Howling Cut, North Carolina in 1916. Grandma Willa is the matriarch of the family. Willa was originally married to Malcom who turned out to be a very violent man. Willa was fortunate to escape him and start a new life (with some help). Willa has one son, Calvin. Calvin married and stayed on the farm. Calvin and his wife had five children (Rachel, Merry Beth, Prescott, and twin boys). But then the influenza hits the family, and the twin boys (the newest babies) do not survive. The mother does not handle their death well and ends up institutionalized (for the sake of the other children). The mother is never the same again. When Rachel was four, she was in an accident at her father’s mill. The leg was not set properly and Rachel has a limp (which causes ridicule from other people). We get to see the children grow up on the farm and see what choices they make. Rachel and Grandma Willa are the main characters in the story and we get to see things through their eyes. We also get to find out about Grandma’s past and how she ended up on the farm. Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees is the story of growing up on a small farm in Howling Cut, North Carolina in the early twentieth century. Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees is a very slow paced story. It contains violent and graphic scenes (very disturbing). The writing is good, and the writer did a very good job at capturing time and place. I did, though, find the book to be dark and depressing (though realistic). It was just not to my liking (I read to escape). I give Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay). I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
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    Good

    A beautifully written, easy read. A wholesome story that emphasizes the value of a Grandmother's love & devotion. An interesting story line demonstrating different kinds of love between a man and a woman. Love can stand the test of time. This book is absolutely an enjoyable read.
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    Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees - an enjoyable book

    This was an easy read which both held my interest and was entertaining, although the ending was readily predictable. I did find both the précis and the title to be misleading but liked the book nevertheless.
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