Author: Patrick D. Smith;
Genre: Historical Fiction;
Narrator: George Guidall;
Publisher: Recorded Books (2011);
Rating: (4 / 5).
This is truly enjoyable historical fiction story about a couple who moved from Georgia to Florida in the 1850s and literally cut a living out of the wilderness. Dirt poor, the MacIveys found a way to exploit the wild around them by capturing wild cattle, driving them across the state, and starting a small empire. Bit by bit, they fought nature, the Civil War, competitors, and fate to make a living.
The story continues in the second generation as their son carries on that way of life as long as he’s able. The third generation, however, doesn’t appreciate the wilderness that meant so much to the family.
That extended family includes interesting characters, even the not-so-good ones. The easygoing relationships between whites, blacks, and Native Americans seemed like a bit of wishful thinking on the part of the author, but I wanted to believe it.
The story contains blood, sweat, and tears, but almost no sex, no foul language, and only applicable violence. It also contains interesting bits of history about the settling of the Sunshine State.
The pacing was great and I had a difficult time choosing when to take a break. George Guidall did his normal fantastic narration and his timing was perfect.