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An American Odyssey Paperback – June 17, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"A captivating generational tale of one family's pioneering travels during the 19th-century. Adair masterfully weaves pivotal events into the lives of this family, crafting a perfect mix of action, tragedy and romance. It is a fitting, rousing tribute to the courage of ordinary families who made extraordinary sacrifices." -Kirkus Reviews
"Donna Gruber Adair does well in crafting a riveting story of the pioneers. 'An American Odyssey' is a fine and much recommended read, not to be overlooked." - The Midwest Book Review MBR Bookwatch November 2011
About the Author
Donna Gruber Adair is a former high school teacher of English and creative writing with a degree in history. She is the author of award-winning short fiction and poetry. Her interests include historical research and genealogy, with an emphasis on 19th century American history. Through her research, she recreates the world around the individuals who lived in those fascinating times.
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The story is about winning, achieving freedom and adventure. It is a story about generations of Adair's who left their secure lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to explore the wide-open spaces and freedom that the West offered. They left behind a comfortable world and crossed a threshold into the unknown. Benjamin Adair took his family into this unknown world, exposing them to the dangers of the wilderness. Through this journey, we meet generations of Adair's, a good, kind and brave family, who endured the hardships of establishing a home from scratch, with little support and infrastructure. Their own skills and ability to persist kept them alive. The author keeps us hungry to read more as she constantly throws new challenges in front of the Adair's. She explores the emotional and physical ramifications caused by Indians, slavery and Civil War. I recommend this book as one of my top picks for 2012.
The characters lived in the 1800s and moved by covered wagon from Virginia to Ohio, then Indiana, and eventually to Kansas. At each place, the Adairs established farms and helped build communities that still exist today. While the book touches on the historical hardships and challenges endured by those early pioneers, it doesn't dwell on them. Instead, the central theme is family, and how determination, love and concern for one another carried them through the difficult times which included high water river crossings, broken wagons, Indians, locusts, prairie fires, the Gold Rush, vigilante violence, Civil War, reconstruction and of course, numerous births and deaths. It is the story of America in the 1800s as told through the activities of a real American family of determined pioneers, the Adairs, and is a very, very good read.
This book reminds me how much we owe to those who have gone before and whether we appreciate what we have been given.