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Gate in the Fence of Time: A Journey to the Birth of America Paperback – November 17, 2015
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James A. Cox,Editor-in-Chief
David Robert Berry's novel Gate in the Fence of Time is a thrilling and thought-provoking examination of early American history. By seamlessly weaving together the compelling stories of a Scottish soldier, a compassionate Quaker woman with a tragic past, an African-American slave yearning for freedom, a deeply spiritual free African woman, an indentured blacksmith, a Native American holy man, and more, Berry has crafted a richly textured and deep historical panorama that will appeal to young and old readers alike.
About the Author
David Berry served seven years at the Council on Environmental Quality at the White House. The idea to write Gate in the Fence of Time began with a visit to Colonial Williamsburg long ago. He procrastinated on actually writing it until the characters in the book began to insist on being heard. In the 1970s and 80s, David performed on Korean and American television and radio including on National Public Radio’s "The Prairie Home Companion” in a duet known as Berry and Wittig. David has spoken and undertaken projects in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. He gives workshops and retreats in the US, Mexico, and Canada. He is a member of the Balaton Group, a systems and natural resources think tank. He is past president of one of the oldest meditation centers in North America.
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The author's spiritual teachings shine through. Time is circular. Let our imaginations be our guides. Our thoughts and actions have consequences. There were ample characters coming together to teach us wisdom--a free black woman, who is wise beyond her years and an gifted healer, a Native American takes us to a sweat lodge, and a Quaker woman teaches us meditation. All the while, it is 1775 and we are preparing for war. And we learn the war wasn't necessarily for the reasons we learned in school. Even back then, war was not for such noble causes as freedom, but for power and money.
A friend recommended this book and I'm glad she did. I particularly needed to study it for dialect, and it greatly helped.
The book was hard to put down. My only fault with it was how easily the family handled their step back into time. Even though I may wish to do it, if it actually happened, I would be scared out of my wits, and would be clinging to my husband for dear life, assuming we would be together when it happened. Yet this family of four took it all in stride and even went their separate ways. I can certainly see why the author did this. Each family member had separate lessons to learn with different inhabitants of that time period, but still, I find it hard to believe they were so brave about it. The author did say there was a sense of peace in the experience.
I've been to Williamsburg three times and would love to go back, now. I would sit on a bench and meditate with my husband, holding his hand, and would say, whatever happens, don't let go of my hand.
Most recent customer reviews
The opening chapter grips readers immediately, and draws them instantaneously into the...Read more