Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
It Is Well: A Novel Paperback – November 1, 2016
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“James Shipman has thoughtfully composed the title from Horatio Spafford’s amazing hymn, It Is Well with My Soul....An interesting read." —Historical Novel Society
About the Author
James D. Shipman, an Amazon bestselling author, was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He began publishing short stories and poems while earning a degree in history from the University of Washington and a law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law. He opened his own law firm in 2004 and remains a practicing attorney. Constantinopolis, his first published novel, depicts the epic fifteenth-century battle between the Turkish and Roman empires for the fabled city of Constantinople. Going Home, his second novel, is based on a true Civil War story. An avid reader, especially of historical nonfiction, Shipman also enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 80%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Jonathan Beecher adored his wife Helen, and without her, he begins to feel his life unravel. First his son Matthew wants to see beyond the small town of Snohomish, WA. Then his son Luke runs off to join the American armed forces. Lastly his daughter Mary goes back on her promise and marries an abusive policeman. The range of experiences and alternating perspectives helps imagine the scope of devastation of WWII and also the way we all process grief.
Although it took me awhile to identify with the characters, the novel moves quickly and covers years of drama and character growth. Without ruining too much, characters that first come across as wooden (the virtuous dead wife, the immature troublemaker, etc) evolve over time while others tend to exist only as foils. More than anything, we explore resilience and the ability to take whatever comes your way--even if it seems wildly beyond your ability.
I probably won't reread this any time soon, but a gripping read, and I'm glad I picked it for my Kindle First selection!
Jonathan Beecher is devoted to his church, his family, and his community. He honors his commitments and keeps his word. A hard-working business owner, he takes pride in having supported his family even during the depths of the Great Depression. Now the economy is improving, but his family doesn't benefit. His wife's death is a blow, but the rebelliousness of his sons and daughter is even harder to accept. He's a gentle man, but he believes that it's his right and responsibility to make decisions for his family. His grown children don't agree.
While he's struggling with his headstrong off-spring, a new complication arises. A widow with a young daughter moves into town and he's attracted to her. She, too, has known sorrow and she understands his. Can they comfort each other or would that be a betrayal of their dead spouses?
Life goes on, even when a country is at war. But sons are taken away and put in danger and some never return. That shiny gold star to place in the window is an "honor" that no family wants.
War brings a sense of urgency and hasty marriages take place between young people who don't know much about each other. The results can be tragic and divorce isn't a easy option. The economy changes swiftly as industry gears up to produce airplanes, ships, and tanks. Some businesses boom. Others fail.
What I know of American life during WWII comes from older relatives. My mother's first husband was serving in the Army Air Corps when his plane was shot down over Germany. He was officially declared dead a month after the birth of his daughter. My mother saved over 400 letters that he wrote to her while he was serving and her letters to him. She also saved the heart-breaking correspondence with the widows and mothers of the other crewmen and condolence letters from her friends. I read all of them and scanned them into my computer so that they could be shared with family.
That experience gave me a fair grasp of what things were like at that time and I believe this author has created a very plausible story line and authentic characters. I found a few anachronisms but he captures the flavor of a time when most Americans clung to a simple creed (faith, family, hard work) that had served them well for generations.
I have to believe that many of them were deeply shaken when a foreign war threatened everything they valued and loved and depended on. Like Jonathan, they must have felt that God had deserted them. Frankly, under the circumstances, only an idiot wouldn't have doubts.
I enjoyed this book. The author writes well and he's created some nicely balanced characters. They aren't perfect, but (with one exception) they're decent and well-meaning. That doesn't mean they can't be mistaken or do harm to each other unintentionally. That's a given in human relationships anywhere, any time. Sometimes the author belabors his points a bit and I would have edited out some of the details and cut it down about 50 pages. But overall, it's a readable and frequently touching book.
Warning: the sons' war experiences are graphic and disturbing. You can skip those parts if you need to and stick to the "Home Front" story without losing the thread.