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A Land Remembered
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88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2004
A Land Remembered is an amazing book that tells the story of three generations of the MacIvey family. The novel takes place in Central Florida, starting before the Civil War. The first generation arrives in Central Florida with literally nothing but their determination, desperation and their love for each other.

Patrick Smith paints a clear and detailed picture of the endurance and sacrifice made by a young couple in order to even just barely get by. The stark reality he portray is extremely vivid.

The hardships that are experienced by the different generations range from natures fury in fires, ice storms, insect swarms covering miles and miles of the grasslands, hurricanes to the emotional hardships of sacrifice, lost love, doubt and loneliness. The MacIvey family looses their footing in several business ventures through the natural disasters and also through the greed of others. The one thing they never loose is their love and caring and determination to take care of their family and to see each other through the difficult times that they are faced with. Each generation must come to terms with what is is truely important in their lives and the simple values that the family began with always seem to come clearly into focus.

The visions of Florida as a raw, unsettled land that tolerates but never encourages those daring enough to challenge her have a unique clarity to them.

Through everything that occurs, this wonderful family pulls together, creating a history that Patrick Smith has crafted into an unforgettable novel.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 1999
Patrick Smith gives the reader an opportunity to glimpse at Florida from 1848 to 1970 through the eyes of the MacIvey family members over three generations. It is an enthralling book, if you're interested in the state of Florida from before Civil War times through present day era. I have read this book four times and am very much a fan of this author. In fact, I have met this studious writer of history, twice. Step back in time and read about Florida in its days of infancy. Enjoy reading about a family that survived in spite of rough times, the elements, outlaws, and animal predators. I have read this to my class and they beg you to keep going! They enjoyed it tremendously! If you do read it, I'm sure you will be captivated by its great story and the personnae of its characters.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
As a history professor, I've found numerous people have used A Land Remembered as their introduction to Florida history. I finally gave in and read it myself and can see why this is the case.

Patrick Smith compellingly recreates an aspect of Florida history that predates Disney, NASCAR racing, tourism and "God's waiting room." He takes the reader on a three-generation journey through Florida history from the Civil War to the 1960s. Told through the experiences of the MacIvey family, it recounts the family's rise from hardscrabble poverty to wealth and influence.At the same time, we see the evolution of Florida to the state it is today, and laments over its change, a "land remembered." Along the way the reader will encounter the formative events of Florida history from the Civil War onward.

Smith's portrayal of Florida's cattle raising history should enlighten many readers of a little known and often neglected part of Florida's history.

The book may be flawed in some of its literary aspects, but for accessible history it has few peers.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 1997
I'm a student in 9th Grade at a high school in Miami, Florida, and we were told to read A Land Remembered. At first, I was thinking "a book about Florida in the 1800's, who wants to read this!". I was totally surprised of how good this book was once I started reading it! It's about a fictional family, the MacIvey's, that are struggling to survive in early Florida. The story is filled with passion, love, suspense, it has some poignant sections, and it has a dash of humor one in a while. I recommend it to anyone who wants to be entertained and at the same time wants to learn about the history of Florida. You won't be able to put it down!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2005
I've read this book MANY times...starting 13 years ago when I was in the 11th grade! Our teacher had Patrick Smith come to our school and we got to meet and talk to him about his book. Let's just say that this book had such an impact on me that when I became an English teacher I had my students read it! Every student in my class fell in love with it and couldn't put it down. Even students who proudly declared, "I've never read a book in my life," devoured it. It is easy to read but has such a deep meaning for Floridians.

The MacIveys are amazing...the way they dealt with life in the wilderness is so fun to read about. This book has something for everyone...romance, friendship, war, history, you name it. It portrays a pretty accurate picture of how Florida developed over the years. I highly recommend it for anyone from Florida or anyone wanting to study Florida history. It is one of my most treasured novels that I could read over and over again.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2001
Patrick Smith's biography must be wrong; he was surely born in Florida. I enjoyed A Time Remembered more than any other book I have read. While its down-to-earth characters and smoothly flowing action make it enjoyable to anyone, the book is especially endearing to me and my cracker family. I am currently reading it to my grandfather, born 84 years ago in Kissimmee (one of the towns featured in the book). As we read, we stop constantly for him to comment on the places and activities of the characters or just to reminisce. According to my expert, Smith's characters and settings are entirely authentic. Each hurdle the characters surmount is true to my grandfather's memory. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to know more about Florida than just sand and beaches. Those of us who know the real meaning of a cracker will especially appreciate Smith's work.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This is a great book. It chronicles three generations of the MacIvey family, beginning with Tobias MacIvey's arrival in Florida in 1858 and ending with Solomon MacIvey's realization in 1968 that much of the original Florida is gone. In that time span, the MacIveys suffer through tragedy and bask in success, as the family rises from poverty to great wealth. The book's strongest characteristic is Patrick Smith's ability to describe the Florida that was - the Florida before developers and retirees and rockets and theme parks. I'm not certain that the Florida pictured so well by Patrick Smith exists anywhere in today's Florida, but it makes wonderful reading.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2000
When my Aunt Nila first sent me a copy of ALR I was not impressed with a "trashy" romance triangle cover. However, on a beach weekend, I grabbed the copy and when I had read the first few pages on Jupiter Beach, I was immediately transported into Patrick Smith's endearing tale of three generations of the MacIvey family and their struggle for survival in early Florida. I would say that 85% of all the honor students I have taught at Coral Gables High in Miami rank this as one of their all-time favorite books. Many have reread it a second time. Smith depicts pioneer life graphically. He is stronger on plot and setting than character and helps teach us a strong respect for the land and a preservation of our past and heritage. This is a great book to teach for environmental concepts and for a love of a sense of place.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
For the thousands of individuals who decide to re-locate to Florida each year, Patrick Smith's "A Land Remembered" should be must read. It provides a glimpse of Florida's past and shows a state dominated by cattle ranching and orange groves. For others who have lived here all their lives, the book is a reminder of just how hard life in Florida was for early settlers. While the characters may not be the most compelling in all of literature, they are a good technique to illustrate the developments that have shaped the Florida of today and make us aware of how relatively easy we have it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2005
So you've been to Disney and the beaches and you think you know Florida? This will open your eyes and your mind to the "real" Florida, before theme parks, beach motels, air conditioning and cheap souvenirs. An amazing first-class chronicle of Florida's land, people, wildlife and wild places. Unforgettable, well-written story of a Florida family and the one of a kind beauty of Florida's natural habitat.
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