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Promises by [Durham, Ardyce]
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Promises Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 389 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 879 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Book Publishing; First edition (February 11, 2016)
  • Publication Date: February 11, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BPKYDJC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,621 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard and Liz TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 22, 2016
Format: Paperback
This easy read, 390 page book, takes the reader back in time to the spring of 1848. It is a work of fiction inspired by the author's great-grandfather who fought in and survived the Civil War.

Born four weeks apart, Owen Cartwright and Weston Walker were best friends. Now, in 1848, they are six years old. Their fathers, Harmon and Monroe, worked at the local sawmill along with doing a little farming. There was an unusually strong bond between the two boys. Did they get into mischief? You bet! Enjoy the smiles/laughs. Baby seeds? Innocent investigations from the boys of where babies came from. How about the time they met with a skunk? Go with them when they found some moonshine.

In the fall of 1857 the sawmill closed thus "forcing" the families to leave Tennessee and move to Mississippi. Although the others settled in well to their new life, Owen and Wes did not thus resulting in some bad choices. At what age did they wear their first pair of boots? Was slavery right? A new subject for Wes and Owen to discuss and ponder was which one of them would fall in love first? How would the other feel? What happened when death struck one of the families?

Skipping forward to 1865, Owen tells the story of life as soldiers in the 2nd Mississippi Infantry. Why did Owen not tell his family the full truth? What was the complete truth and how many years would it take to surface. Read the story of Owen's life throughout the years and enjoy your trip back in time.

Written in the vernacular of that time and area this book may be hard for some to read but I loved it. It helped transport the reader to that era, making the story even more real.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Texas author Ardyce Durham has a colorful career - ranging from teacher to big rig truck driver to minimum-wage employee at a plant nursery – from which to draw her first novel but instead she focuses this first work on historical data. Now retired she is devoting her ‘spare time’ to pen and paper and we are the richer for it.

On keeping with the setting of memoir/biography she offers a touching Prologue: ‘What is a friend? According to the dictionary, a friend is a person who you like and enjoy being with, someone who helps and supports you in every way possible. That definition falls short of the friendship chronicled in this book. Imagine if you will, two boys who are the same age and grow up together. They are buddies, constant companions, and partners-in- crime. Perhaps the word that best describes the relationship between the two is accessory. They watch out for each other and are co- conspirators in virtually everything they do, before, during, and after the fact. They are a force to be reckoned with. Like boys do while growing up, they make promises to one another as well as to others, most of which are of no real significance. They are boys involved in boyish things and can be forgiven for backing out of something they had initially agreed on, especially if the promise isn't sealed with their special handshake.
However, as men, their promises are grounds for the expectation of follow-through, for successful completion of specified intentions. They are of a singular mind; once their word is given, going back on it is seldom, if ever, an option. If envisioned from the right perspective, their friendship lasted for over a hundred years. This is their story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable book that realistically depicts the lifestyles and incredible hardships endured by people who lived in the mid 1800's through the mid 1900's, especially in rural areas through the lives of one man and his family and friends. If you enjoy reading historical fiction this book should be very interesting for you. I especially enjoyed the background information on a geographic area in Northeastern Mississippi.
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Loved this book. Could not put it down. The author has a wonderful way of conveying t
he hardships, friendships,and overall love of two families in the south during the 1800's and pre and post Civil War. The humor of two young boys and their antics growing from infants to adulthood had me thoroughly entertained. I would highly recommend it to everyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ardyce Durham's 'Promises' evokes a wave of nostalgia as it's read. Reading it is reminiscent of sitting on the floor in front of a crackling fire, listening to aunts and uncles trade stories about long-departed relative you never got a chance to meet.

'Promises' takes the reader back to 1884 Tennessee, and the lives of Owen and Weston, a pair of six-year-old who are nigh-inseparable best friends. An engaging, flowing narrative that reads more like a memoir or a journal than a work of fiction relays the friend's time together. Tales of mischief, hijinx, laughter, and everyday life ensue. Durham's prose in woven together with intricate detail of the towns and homes that make up "Promises' settings. It offers up the way life was in the culture of the pre-confederate South with no apologies or embellishments- this is the way people lived, how they filled their day, and how they fed their families.

When war comes, both boys enlist. Now living in Mississippi, they join its 2nd infantry and see action in some of The Civil War's bloodiest battles- Antietam, Manassas, and Gettysburg. Wes is killed and Owen spends two years in a prison camp. The book is Owen's story after the War. He returns to his family, picks up the pieces, and lives his life. Life, death, birth, success, failure, more war, and a lumber business follow, all told through the prism of that slice of life that most of us reside in. Not rich but not poor, scratching out a life and fighting to make it one with meaning.

'Promises', with its characters that are rich and textured without seeming embellished and its evocative narrative would be a four-star book, possibly five, if not for one fatal flaw. The book's dialogue, written to mimic the vernacular of the time, is damn near unreadable.
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