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The Ways of Mud and Bone Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It made me realize how little we remember about the past, especially wars, as if they had happened in another planet. Indeed, the never ending march of folly...
The story flowed smoothly, alternating between the front in France and the lives of the family in Swann River. It not only reminded us that there was a World War I, but also of the influenza epidemic raging at the time, around 1918. And, of course, of the bigotry of many who could not accept Americans not defending the war. Still, some young women agreed to go and help, especially with wounded soldiers. The wounds some of them received were of a different kind, but also to be expected.
The scenes in France were stunning - I could hear and feel the bombs and the shots and the flames, and could understand the reactions of the people involved. And the characters were excellently portrayed, even the secondary ones.
In all, a very well written novel, one that holds our interest without pause. I am grateful to Carrie Ann Lahain for having allowed me into the world she has created. It will haunt me for some time, but I will also remember the courage of many people who may not have been properly acknowledged. We can do it here, thanks to this novel.
The story begins with the death of Meryl's cousin Nora's fiance, Teddy, an American soldier who died in battle. Meryl's father is a doctor, and he trains her and her sister, Claire to be nurses. Both Meryl and Claire are accepted into a relief unit program in New York. Shortly afterwards, their relief unit assigns them to France. Before Claire can go to France with her sister, she falls ill, leaving Meryl to go overseas on her own. Meryl, with two other girls, Priscilla and Emma, and two doctors cross the ocean with a reserved army. On the ship, influenza spreads and Meryl catches it. But when they arrive in France, they are surrounded by warfare.
Meryl is very quiet but observant. She does not say much and is usually portrayed as being in the background eclipsed by other spirited characters. Sometimes, she can be impulsive and judgmental at first, but later her judgments change. She is also caring, for she cares about her friends and family.
But while Meryl is in France, the story focuses on Nora, who is managing Meryl's home. Meryl's father is arrested because he is seen as a German sympathizer because he lets Germans stay in their house. She also looks after Claire's well-being, who still has not fully recovered from her sickness.Read more ›
France seems almost like an adventure to Meryl, her sister and her friends. She is inspired by a desire to care for the casualties of war and sets off for the front to do what she can. Needless to say, the reality of battle is a shock to the volunteers, even though they believe themselves to be ready for such a challenge. Meryl struggles with the consequences of a world turned upside down, which will never be the same again. She is sensitive and intelligent, unsentimental and pragmatic. Relationships in this novel are subtle, understated. We have to read between the lines, sense the meaning of simple gestures. But against the horrific backdrop of chaos and death, in action scenes that are all too realistic, there is still room for hope.
I read a little everyday, often sneaking off to find out what happened next, wanting a sliver more to mull over. I held the dwindling pages (I bought the book, but I see it is available on Kindle too), and wished that Meryl’s story could continue. Highly recommended – a literary gem.
The Ways of Mud and Bone takes place during the final year of World War 1. Meryl Goodson, a 19-year-old American, leaves behind her small town life to join an overseas relief unit in France. The novel describes both Meryl's experiences in the war and her family's troubles back home in a community divided by the war and ravaged by the influenza epidemic of 1918.
Meryl's story is compelling and she is a likeable character—compassionate, courageous, and thoughtful. But the secondary characters—those with Meryl in France and in her hometown—are just as intriguing. The war scenes are visceral as is the rampant discrimination stateside. Meryl's father, a doctor, is throw in jail for speaking out against the war and a German family in town suffers violent attacks.
The novel is well researched—Lahain's details of the time period add such authenticity you really feel as if you're there. The plot moves steadily along; I had a difficult time putting the book down and spent most of a Saturday reading it. The Ways of Mud and Bone is a book that stays with you partly because of the fascinating history of the Great War but mostly on the strength of Lahain's endearing characters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story takes place during the waning months of World War I. The author opens with plenty of character description and humor. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Desert Reader
‘The Ways of Mud and Bone’ by Carrie Ann Lahain.
I am a local author in the area of Las Vegas, Nevada. I wanted to read some of the other local author’s works. Read more
I started to read “The Ways of Mud and Bone” apprehensively because I didn’t think I would enjoy historical fiction. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Patricia N. Getter
I picked this up because I loved the title, bought it because I so seldom see fiction about World War I. Ms. Read morePublished 18 months ago by kba
Excellent WWl historical. Great incite into the times and the minds of the people who lived through the events.Published 21 months ago by Mickey Reader
One word: HORRIBLE. It was drab, boring, lifeless, and poorly written. I had no true connection to any of the characters, and there wasn't really a story at all. Read morePublished on July 1, 2014 by Amber Hanna
I was fortunate enough to win this book from Goodreads First Reads giveaways.
Carrie Ann Lahain writes a compelling story centering around the American Godson sisters... Read more
The Ways of Mud and Bone is an ambitious story about a fascinating period nearly a century ago, in the final year of the First World War. Read morePublished on April 23, 2014 by Helen Yeomans
Ms. Lahain's writing is impeccable. Her characters are compelling and her depiction of this terrible time in history is well researched. Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by Sydnee Elliot
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