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A Time to Cast Away Stones [Kindle Edition]

Elise Frances Miller
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.95
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Book Description

Janet Magill’s brother has been shipped off to Vietnam, and Aaron Becker, her childhood sweetheart, might well be next. When Janet’s parents banish her from the Berkeley protests to what they expect will be a safe, idyllic springtime in Paris, she runs headlong into the 1968 May Revolution and falls in love with a secretive Czech dissident. Far from the City of Light, Aaron makes plans to evade the draft and join her, but loses contact as her "safe" year abroad turns into a dangerous coming of age.

Product Details

  • File Size: 847 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press (June 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008AK8UDQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,492 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You May Recognize Yourself September 21, 2012
I had such great time reading this book. Having lived through the campus unrest of the late 60s it caused me to reflect back to my time at the University of Wisconsin, which like Berkley, was embroiled in the Vietnam War protests. The character development was exceptional, as was the way the author wove together the political unrest of UC Berkeley, Paris and behind the iron curtain. It was personally unsettling to recognize myself in Aaron and to find myself admiring Janet who back in the day I would have seen as a campus radical. For anyone who lived through the late 60s (or had parents who did) and wrestled with the anti war and military draft issues it is a must read book. In addition to being very entertaining, it continually present thoroughly researched historical facts that allows the reader to place the US anti war and free sex experience of the late 60s in the much broader context of the events taking place in both western and eastern Europe. The reader should be prepared for a number of surprises not the least of which is a great ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Trifecta September 24, 2012
Historical fiction seems to me to be one of the more difficult genres as the author must write within the confines of real time/place while spinning a tale that engages readers. Elise Miller has succeeded in doing both EXCPETIONALLY well. A Time to Cast Away Stones grabs the reader from the outset and draws them into the lives of the characters while taking them on a memorable journey through a time gone by.

It wasn't until I heard Elise speak that I understood just why the story felt so "real." It was the time and effort that she took researching that gives the detail that makes this book so special. It is a testament to her talent as a writer that the depth of research, that went into the book, doesn't stand out -- rather it reads like a great fiction novel with incredible nuance.

A Time to Cast Away Stones is gem that any reader would be lucky to discover. The story, the insight on the time, and the high caliber of writing make this a literary trifeca. Enjoy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A stand-out faux memoir with historical relevance August 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
They say that if you can remember the `60s, you weren't there.

But this quip really only applies to a well-known section of the population that stumbled its way through one of the 20th century's more turbulent decades. Along with the conservative silent majority (who were neither) there were also the not-so-silent-but-politically-conscious students on college campuses around the world.

'A Time to Cast Away Stones' is about these young people--the ones who might have had the odd toke but had higher (so to speak) aspirations.

Set during the intensifying US involvement in Vietnam, the novel follows two Berkeley students, Janet Magill, and her childhood sweetheart, Aaron Becker. Janet begins her college career as a good girl who learns that `you don't have to be a nymphomaniac with dirty hair to be against the war'--although she is less than enamored with the violent tactics of her fellow demonstrators at first.

When things get rough Janet is shipped off to Paris for a semester or two of intended safety, only to be pulled out of the proverbial frying pan and immersed in the fire of the `68 demonstrations heating up there. Her role in the Paris demonstrations is a far cry from the more passive one she took in California and Janet mans the barricades with the best of them. Meanwhile Aaron, wanting to be with Janet and avoid the draft, is faced with real-world financial concerns that prevent him from coming to Paris immediately. His affair with Janet is chronicled, sporadically at times, through the onionskin airmail letters that go back and forth in a pre-wired world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Pleasantly Lost in the Book January 21, 2013
I enjoyed the hell out of this book, I have to say.

My mom was part of the "hippie" generation, and was an avid reader herself, so when I was old enough, I worked my way through her entire library (we actually had one in our house), including much material that pertained to the period. Sometimes I feel more connected to that time than my own, and reading this book brought me back again, if only to my own childhood when I was reading and discovering the revolutionary 60s for the first time, and becoming enamored of the FEELING of the era. I don't know any other way to describe it.

What I can say is how easy it was to get involved in the book, wrapped up in it, to live the story in my own mind. I suppose that just means that the author succeeded in what she set out to do with the book, at least in my mind.

I enjoyed seeing the story from France, as opposed to the usual Berkeley/Haight-Ashbury type settings. It really brought home to me the wide-spread nature of the social and attitude changes of the time. I'm sure the authenticity of the writing in that sense can be attributed directly to the author's own time in Paris at the time.

Excellent read, truly well done. Totally recommended. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New perspective on the '60s January 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Elise Frances Miller's novel, A Time to Cast Away Stones, published by Sand Hill Review Press in June, 2012, is set in Berkeley and Paris in 1968. I will begin this review with some important disclosures. I know Elise Miller. Like Elise, I have been a member of the San Francisco Writer's Workshop. Elise reviewed one of my novels, Burning Questions, a few moths ago. In addition, I was a member of SDS, the Students for a Democratic Society. In 1968, I was actively involved in the Columbia University student strike. I am personally familiar with much of the background Elise cites and some of the real people Elise uses to give verisimilitude to her narrative.

Elise is a fine writer who knows how to tell a good story and tells this one well. The story fills a void in 60's genre literature. What makes it different from the memoirs and apologias that seem to clutter the 60's literature landscape is that it is not a narrative about leaders, well-known 60's personalities or the remnants of activists languishing in lock-ups. It is a novel that has the feel of a roman-á-clef with a focus on members of the rank and file, the faces behind the numbers reported in attendance at those many marches and demonstrations that punctuated the news accounts of the times, and it reminds us that these multitudes were not merely mindless "followers" whose presence represented an unquestioning endorsement of the political pontifications spouted by those on the speaker's platform. Elise gives us people with their own politics, motives and personal agendas, people whose reasons for being among the crowds varied greatly.

The story is told from two points of view. The prime narrator is Janet McGill, a sheltered nineteen year-old daughter of an upper middle class family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Time to Cast Away Stones is written with love, empathy and ample...
A Time to Cast Away Stones is written with love, empathy and ample nostalgic feelings.
Ms. Miller gives us a touching; intimate picture of Janet MaGill’s coming of age. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Classics-Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars a different ride through the 60's
Although this is fiction, Elise Frances Miller writes a realistic and passionate ride through the Berkeley protests to the violent protests in France. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Maurine Killough
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
Great story, well written. Every one would enjoy reading this book. All readers can relate to these times of the 60's.
Published 22 months ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book about a pivotal time in our society
I truly enjoyed A Time to Cast Away Stones. While reading the book, I engulfed myself in the civil rights era. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling look at the politics of the 1960s from a very personal...
Having been in both Paris and Berkeley in 1968, I can say with a great deal of certainty that Elise Miller really did her homework on this novel, and she captured not only the... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Eve Y. Visconti
5.0 out of 5 stars The Political is Personal
A Time to Cast Away Stone is a gripping historical novel of the 60s written with personal passion. Though the characters are well developed and events thoroughly researched, we... Read more
Published on January 6, 2013 by Kate Farrell
4.0 out of 5 stars A Time to Speak
"A Time to Cast Away Stones" is a literary lesson in history. In his infamous epilogue to "War and Peace" Tolstoy states, "What does it all mean? Why did it happen? Read more
Published on December 30, 2012 by Zarina Zabrisky
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read!
I was just a kid in 1968 and oblivious to what was going on around me at the time. This book brought it to life for me. Read more
Published on November 19, 2012 by Wendy D. Walter
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!!!
what a wonderful read! Elise Frances Miller expertly takes us from the campus at Cal to the streets of Paris - as we read about the lives of Janet, Teo, Aaron ... Read more
Published on November 2, 2012 by andrea
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
A Time to Cast Away Stones offers a compelling view of the divisions that marked the Vietnam Era. Moreover, it is an indictment of the politicians whose lies, arrogance, and... Read more
Published on October 31, 2012 by James Hanna
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More About the Author

Welcome to Elise Frances Miller's author page! Learn more about A Time to Cast Away Stones, Elise's new novel about love and revolution in Berkeley and Paris, 1968, at!

With her art history degrees from UC Berkeley and UCLA, Elise began writing as an art critic and reviewer for several well known publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Art News, The Reader, and San Diego Magazine, for which she wrote a monthly column. Two of her short stories have been published in The Sand Hill Review (2007, 2010), for which she served as guest fiction editor in 2008. These were included in the SHR's tenth anniversary publication, The Best of Sand Hill Review (2012). In addition, a chapter of A Time to Cast Away Stones was selected for inclusion in the 2010 literary journal, Fault Zone,Words from the Edge, and her short story, "Playing with the Rules," was published in Fault Zone: Stepping Up to the Edge in 2012. In 1998, she and her husband moved from San Diego to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys the region's literary opportunities and her memberships in the San Francisco Writers Workshop and the California Writers Club, San Francisco Peninsula Branch.

PHOTO CAPTIONS (l to r) the author; partial cover photo of A Time to Cast Away Stones; Cal campus with Campanile; 1968 antiwar rally, Sproul Plaza; 1968 May Revolution, student demonstration, Paris.


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