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on January 27, 1999
I have been a fan of Fast's Immigrants Saga since I read the first book. Imagine my suprise when I saw a new book to a series that I had thought had been concluded. I cannot say that this is as good as the Immigrants series has been, but it isn't terrible. It was mostly a trip down Barbara Lavette's memory lane. This book mostly made me decide to re-read and try to find copies of the books that lead up to this one. It does seem that Mr. Fast got tired while writing the story and decided that he was done, so stopped by giving Barbara cancer. I will read this book again, and I do recommend it to any fan of Fasts Immigrants saga, just to take the walk though the Lavette's and Levy's interesting lives.
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on July 25, 2012
I love this series by Howard Fast, starting with the "Immigrant" and ending with "An Independent Woman"; I love this series so much that I have re-read it at least 5 times. However, I always hit a brick wall when I get to the last two books of the series ("The Immigrant's Daughter" and "An Independent Woman"), although more so with the final book "An Independent Woman" I don't appreciate the inconsistencies in these last two books - it's like Howard Fast forgot what he wrote in the previous books and that his readers failed to actually read the first 3 books! The inconsistencies may be trite to other readers; however, I find that when Fast writes about Barbara's old Victorian house (that had originally belonged to Sam Goldberg and she purchased from his estate), he forgets that the house with all its contents was burned down by Lucy Sommers Lavette in book 3, "The Legacy". How can Barbara sit in a chair that once belonged to Sam or have the locked from the original house picked if neither of these items existed anymore? Also, the name of the winery is Higate and throughout this final book it was called Highgate (this may have been an editing error but an error none the less). There are other things that are inconsistent within this last book of the series but if you can get pass them, all-in-all this is a great series!
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on November 30, 1997
I was totally surprised when I saw "An Independent Woman" in the bookstores, and also excited. I have loved "The Immigrant" series of books since they first started, and have read them over & over again. The characters have always been well-written and highly believable. Sadly, I do not feel that I will be re-reading this book anytime soon and cannot recommend it to those who have read the series. I felt that this was not in the same caliber as the other 5. The thing that I was most disappointed in: People that had died 2 books earlier were now alive (one glaring example: Stephan Cassala's wife Joanna). It was almost as if someone else wrote the book instead of Mr. Fast. Did the editors of this book ever read the first 5? If so, wouldn't they have checked for errors in chronology/family history/content?
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on January 20, 2012
This was a perfect ending to the series. Howard Fast pulled everything together beautifully, and the ending of this book was just as it should be. The writing and story line was improved on "An Independent Woman," as compared to the previous book. It was hard to see a period at the end of the characters, but you saw parts of all of them that you knew where there, but you just hadn't quite seen before. For me, that was the best part.

This Kindle version was fairly clean, with only a few punctuation and spelling errors, but nothing distracting.

I recommend this series from beginning to end.
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on February 11, 2002
As a third generation Italian-American who lives in San Francisco, I fell in love with the Immigrant series when I read it in high school years ago. Upon hearing that this last book in the series had been published, I eagerly reread all the previous books to prepare myself for "An Independent Woman." Unfortunately, I have a good memory so the inaccuracies and editing mistakes took some of the enjoyment off of what in all was an good experience. (My favorite mistake was Joanna and Steve Cassala's return from the dead.) Putting this aside though, I loved getting immersed in the Lavette-Levy tale again, and cried as it ended. I wish that Barbara had lived to go on more adventures - that she wasn't struck down in her prime - but then again that is how life works sometimes. Even though, this wasn't the end I had envisioned for the Immigrant series, I am happy that I read it, and would encourage any fan to buy it.
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on July 9, 1999
Ten minutes ago I finished reading 'An Independent Woman.' Saddened at the untimely death of Barbara Lavette, I feel the book was aptly titled. The book, to the end, portrayed a woman with incredible character. I can't share in the disappointment of the previous reviewers. It was a joy to share in the Levy/Cohen/Lavette families again. My only complaint - the walking tour of Jerusalem seemed to be filler. A great wrapup to a great set of books. Read them all.
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on October 7, 2009
AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN is, overall, a disappointment. Two characters return from the dead due to sloppy editing, and many plot points from previous books in the series are rehashed. If you're reading all six in a row, as I did, there will be an uncomfortable amount of repetition. There were a few moments that were reminders of why I love Howard Fast's writing. There is a sequence that takes place in Israel which is fast-paced, moving and inspirational. The final twenty pages or so, encompassing Barbara's passing, are beautifully written and brought tears to my eyes. I can tell that Mr. Fast based this loss on his own experience of losing his beloved Bette.

Because I so loved the Levys and Lavettes, I am glad I read this book, if only to get to spend another 300 or so pages with them. It wasn't as good as the earlier efforts, or as good as it could have been, however, and that is a pity. Recommended for hard-core fans of the series, but you won't miss a great deal if you have to skip it.
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on June 17, 2014
I hate to stop reading a book halfway through, but I am struggling with this final book in the Lavette saga. I have enjoyed the other books, although I have to admit that by the end of The Immigrant's Daughter, I was beginning to tire of "Saint Barbara." She is just so beautiful, so brilliant, so talented, so wise, so tolerant - please give her some HUMAN character. I also agree with the reviewer who said she read the whole series again in anticipation of the release of the final book. The author should have done the same thing. I was very distracted by the details that were forgotten, ignored or changed. I'll keep plugging along until I finish the book because I want to know how the story ends, but this will definitely not be a "re-read" for me.
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on February 7, 2009
I had not heard of this series before this, but loved the book. The character relationships were a bit confusing, but it was an excellent read. I would have given it 5 stars if this was more clear. I especially enjoyed the narratives about religion, faith, marriage, and love. I plan to read the other books in this series. The ending of the book was satisfying and real. Things happen unexpectidely and I did not feel this was a cop out.
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on June 12, 2014
I am one of those crazy people who have to finish a movie when I start it (no matter how bad). Well, I began the series with a mediocre review- until I got to the last 2 books. They are so repetitive it will drive you insane. In addition, facts from previous books were changed completely-- even people who DIED in book 2 or 3 came back to life in book 6 to eat thanksgiving dinner. It was very disappointing.
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