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Far From the Tree (Nova Audio Books) Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.3 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Strong, colorful characters distinguish DeBerry and Grant's (Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made) warm and moving African-American family drama. When Will Frazier dies, his family gathers for the funeral in Buffalo, N.Y. Della, his grieving wife, is overwhelmed by memories. Celeste, the Fraziers' bossy eldest daughter, is driving away her husband and their 23-year-old daughter, Niki, with her controlling behavior. Younger Frazier sibling Ronnie, a struggling actress, is desperate to hide her hand-to-mouth existence from the family. Will has deeded a house in Prosper, N.C., to his daughters; a few months after the funeral, just as their lives are about to bottom out, they decide to inspect the place before they sell it, despite Della's protests. The house, it is eventually revealed, once belonged to Della's biological father, who took in 10-year-old Della (who was born out of wedlock) when her mother died. As Celeste and Ronnie explore the town in which their mother grew up, Della's story unfolds. Tormented and sexually assaulted by her violent half-brother Henry, teenage Della, a talented singer, finally finds happiness with Lester, an ambitious amateur performer. Lester leaves for the city and promises to send for her, but when Della must suddenly flee for her life after Henry accidentally kills their father, she loses touch with Lester, eventually moving to New York and marrying his friend, Will, in 1957. In the present day, Della joins her daughters in Prosper when Ronnie falls ill and finds unexpected comfort from the friends she'd left behind, just as her daughters confront the realities of their lives. Although the narrative ends abruptly and predictably, the story otherwise moves gracefully between the 1950s and the present day, and an unusually varied cast of minor characters add spice to the full-bodied tale. 150,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Della Frazier and her two middle-aged daughters, Celeste and Ronnie, are in crisis. Della's husband has just died; Celeste's marriage is crumbling; and Ronnie, pursuing an acting career in New York, becomes sick and destitute. While cleaning out their father's home office, Celeste discovers that he has left her and Ronnie a house on 45 acres of land in Prosper, NC. Della fights hard to prevent her daughters from visiting the house and town that she had vowed at age 18 never to set foot in again. This novel has a seamless, omniscient narrative voice. The major theme here is the importance of facing up to the past and the present even though it may be painful. YAs will relate to the childhood and teenage years of the three main characters and see the bittersweet relationships among them. Young women in frequent conflict with their own mothers will also identify with Celeste's 23-year-old daughter when she fights against her mother's attempts to control her life. Those who are dreaming of a career in the enter-tainment industry will be interested in Ronnie's story, as well as the early musical careers of Della and her first boyfriend.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Prince William County Library System, VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Nova Audio Books
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Abridged edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567409237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567409239
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,605,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If I could give this book a 10 I would. This to me was better than 'Tryin to Sleep...'. I totally enjoyed this book from the first page to the last. Della had a life before her daughters came into the world and she definitely wasn't finished living by any means. Ronnie and Celeste thought they had seen it all until they came to Prosper, NC. This book was like 'Soul Food' with better twists and turns and more drama. I cried and cheered at the end that the family came together. It is amazing what communication between family members can do and what harm secrets can create. I hope that every mother and daughter can read this book and get something from it. I too am beginning to realize that my mother and grandmother were women on their own at one time and it is nice thing to know my mother as a woman and not just "Mommy". So, if you are looking for a soul searching book, I highly recommend Far From the Tree. As Virginia and Donna say, we never really fall that Far From the Tree. Enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written story about the relationship between two sisters, Ronnie and Celeste and their relationship with their mother, Odella. The story opens immediately following the death of the father/husband Will. The central theme of the novel is how at some point in our lives, we all try to hind from the individuals to whom we are the closest and what happens when we are forced to reveal what we have tried so hard to hide.
In this story, Ronnie tries to hide the fact that she is not an up and coming model/actress as she wants and leads her family to believe. Celeste, tries to hide the fact that she is not as wealthy as she wants and leads people to believe. However, the crux of the story lies with the secrets held by the mother Odella and the experiences she had while growing up in North Carloina. A trip to the attic to clean out the fathers personal belongings takes these women on a journey which is mysterious to the daughters, painful for the mother and casts the much beloved yet deceased father in somewhat of an unfavorable light at least as far as his daughters are concerned.
A trip back to North Carolina causes these women to explore themselves, come face to face with the past and its demons and come out on the other side more knowledgeable and as better people. This novel is fantastic and makes you wonder what secrets our parents hold, not as parents but as people. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I am FEELING this book!! I really LOVED this book. It's about Ronnie and Celeste (sisters), their mother (Della) and Celeste's daughter (name escapes me) and their relationship with each other. The death of the father brings them together at the beginning of the book. The sisters find out that they own land in Prosper, North Carolina, which is where their parents are from. The mother refuses to talk about her life in Prosper, so the sisters are forced to go to Prosper with intentions of selling the land. Something brings the mother to Prosper and together with the sisters, all three are forced to face the reality of who they really are and why each of them is miserable. The characters were SERIOUSLY flawed and their lives weren't happily ever after at the end of the book - more so on the road to recovery. This book is tightly written! Drama starts from page one and continues up until the very end. I found myself hating the book to end.... Don't miss out on this book....
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Format: Hardcover
Why do we choose to keep the truth from the ones we love? When you keep secrets from family members, those secrets will eventually turn up when you least expect it. "Far From the Tree" by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant takes you on a soul-searching journey of one family who's forced to come to turns in facing their family secrets and relationships.
The storyline revolves around Odella, and her daughters, Celeste and Ronnie. The book takes you on an individual tour of each person's life, different personalities, and the way they view life itself after they have buried their father. Odella has secrets that she wants to stay hidden which involves her past and upbringing. Celeste is the controlling daughter who knows what is best for her mother, sister, and her family, only her way is not always accepted. Ronnie is a wannabe actress trying to reach that one big break only to find brick walls at every turn.
When they are brought together in North Carolina because of land owned by the family, they soon realize another chapter in their lives is about to be written. Harsh realities are soon revealed and they must now face their secrets and each other to begin the healing process.
I applaud Ms. Deberry and Ms. Grant on a very well thought out storyline and strong character development that allows you to relate to each person's reality on living and surviving. Towards the end, reading each page was heart warming and they grabbed you and made you realize how important family is, and further emphasized that patience, support, and trust are the ingredients in establishing a strong family unit.
Far from the Tree is a unique book, which is presented with great taste and a detailed precision from the beginning to the end. This is a book that will not disappoint you, but leave you with much food for thought and a better understanding on building family trust and relationships.
Reviewed by Kalaani
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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