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Whispers from the Ashes Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
He wrote on the gift card, "Going Home". And that is exactly what this novel did. It took me home. It took me back to Northeast Pa. It took me back to the fifties and how simple life was then. I fell in love with Molly Branigan. As she narrates her story she reminds me of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. The story moves quickly and each chapter is just as interesting as the last. This would be a good choice for a Christmas gift for anyone who calls Northeast Pa home.
In the 1950s, life is hard for the Pennsylvania mountainside coal community of Giant's Despair. The community is struggling with economic collapse, as well as dealing with the fumes from an underground coal fire, which is poisoning their trees and their water supply. This story is a snapshot into the life of one family, as told through the eyes of young Molly. She tells of the stress that comes from living in the dying community. Through her, we meet her hard drinking father, her mother who is native to the town, her older brother and sister, her odd assortment of relatives and members of the community. As life goes on, Molly discovers an old diary and sets out to discover more of her family's history. The more Molly digs, the more she learns, and the more she discovers her family's history is not exactly what she has been lead to believe...and perhaps how some things should have been left untold.
Ms. Hester writes of a time long past, a simpler time where modern conveniences were rare, and family loyalty is paramount. The community of Giant's Despair is brought to life in vivid detail, the reader smells the smoke from the underground mine fires and feels the bitter winter and the hope of the oncoming spring. In the beginning of the story, we meet Molly as a young and innocent girl, as the book progresses she grows older and her innocence is slowly lost. She discovers her father is not the big strong man she believes him to be, realizing for the first time he has weaknesses. Like all father/daughter relationships, this moment of innocence lost is devastating. Molly's parents have a deep love for each other and their children, and throughout the story, this love is tested and holds strong.Read more ›
I bought this book out of a personal interest in the setting. I now live not far from where everything takes place. But I was not prepared for the beauty of the story itself. I've got tears flowing even as I write this review. If you love a story written in the simplicity of small town life, that takes you much deeper than than fast paced drama and high speed chases, you'll love this book. Thank you Patricia Hester for a novel so easy and compelling to read, so full and rich in detail.
I loved the sense of actually 'being there'. The feeling that I could see not only through Molly's eyes but through the eyes of other characters as well. To feel what lies in their hearts and motivates actions, and how those actions can and DO affect the lives of so many others. The author brought this out on so many levels. The story just weaves back and forth in a very casual way, beautiful for its ease and simplicity. I'm moved particulary by the close interactions of Molly and her family, especially her father. Being the father of two daughters myself it was very easy to relate. And yet there was so much more.
Another facet of the story that affected me, and affects us all in one way or another is the end result of heavy-handed industrialization on a community.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyable coming of age story with a little mystery and detective work. Love the time period it takes place in.Published 1 month ago by Deb
It took me a very long time to get into this book. Lots of descriptive language which made it difficult for me to follow at times. And lots of characters. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kristen M. W. Clark
A rather forgettable book. I skipped through a bunch of pages toward the end just so that I could get to the conclusion.Published 8 months ago by Blue Moon
The book does capture the PA coal miners feel, dark and depressing. It could have had some positive spin so the reader could hold out hope that someone from that area and era... Read morePublished 8 months ago by JoAnn Luciano
A well written story full of lntrig. Very real to me, having grown up up in that period.Published 11 months ago by Charles Simmons
The story progressed slowly and tediously, although it was one I wanted to finish to the end. It was not one I couldn't lay down for a few days.Published 15 months ago by Shirley Granville