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1929 (The 1929 Series #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  2,448 Ratings  ·  334 Reviews
Note: Older cover edition for ASIN# B005C1N24I

Jonathan Garrett has just lost everything in the Crash of ’29. His business partners and best friends, Aryl Sullivan and Caleb Jenkins, must rally together to adjust to a sudden and violent shift in lifestyle.

Jonathan, a natural born leader, is forced to rent a rundown tenement apartment from an old business rival who does no
Kindle Edition, 417 pages
Published 2011 by Quillen Publishing (first published January 1st 2009)
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M. L. Gardner Leelynn, I must apologize for not spotting your question sooner. I'm just now seeing this and am happy to answer! I feel Caleb is the strongest of the…moreLeelynn, I must apologize for not spotting your question sooner. I'm just now seeing this and am happy to answer! I feel Caleb is the strongest of the six because of his ability to see the bright side in most situations and for his infinite patience. Stay in touch!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 18, 2013 Cynthia rated it did not like it
Wow, it was bad. I'm amazed at the glowing reviews here and wonder what other books fall into "historical fiction" for some of these reviewers. First off, the book is written at a grade school reading level that happens to have adult sexual content. It's not so much about the 1929 crash as it is about the soap operatic lives of three couples. The plot contrivances are so unbelievable. The characters are underdeveloped and I have to agree with a reviewer who said that it was kind of hard to tell ...more
Colleen Burns
After reading all of the positive reviews of this book I was looking forward to reading it. It starts out OK. I have to admit I only got 100 pages into it before I gave out (out of 400+ pages). I was OK with the fact that there was very little depth to the characters and in some ways it was rather predictable & pollyanna-ish. But there were anachronisms that got in my way. The premise of the book is that it is a story being written in 1970. Early on the term "a perfect storm" is used. This e ...more
Stephen Hise
Apr 23, 2011 Stephen Hise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five very enthusiastic stars for Jonathan's Cross! I suppose this wonderful novel would be labeled historical fiction, yet it is somehow something more. I could not help but feel I was witnessing the birth of something different; something new and wonderful. I have been awestruck since finishing this book at M.L. Gardner's amazing prowess in story-telling and character development.

If she does not quickly become one of the best-known authors of our time, I fear for the world of publishing.
Leelynn Brady
It was honestly one of the most heartbreaking books I have ever read. Not only does it start off with a hopeless situation, but there are events throughout the story that makes you wonder if the main characters will ever be able to recover from it. Despite this, the book was a great read, filled with characters that you could feel sorry for and yet cheer for when the going gets tough. There were times when I felt like I couldn't finish it for the sake of keeping myself sane, but I pushed through ...more
Nov 10, 2012 Renee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane Buchbauer
Jun 10, 2013 Jane Buchbauer rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of three couples, the husbands friends from childhood, and their recovery from backbreaking losses in the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The book is an engaging treatment of the tragedy that rocked the lives of so many in that historic event and is the beginning of a series of books about the characters. Part historical fiction, a good measure of marital romance and a portion of criminal drama makes for an entertaining read. I look forward to reading the next books o ...more
Long and ponderous. Would benefit from serious editing to cut out the repetition. Some aspects were lovely, but I couldn't really get to grips with the characters.
Thom Swennes
Jul 24, 2016 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free-e-book
When and where so many lives and dreams ended, this story begins. On October 29, 1929, forever after known as Black Tuesday, saw countless fortunes lost and even more lives broken. The financial consequences created by the stock market crash were total and immediate. Before the end of the month, mansions, cars, and collected laurels of wealth were put on the auction block to alleviate a portion of the accumulated debt. Like the condemned ascending the scaffold to face the executioner, whose work ...more
Oct 24, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"1929 - Jonathan's Cross" can actually be considered a horror story--the horror of losing everything you owned in one afternoon ( some lost their lives also). The whole country was was in turmoil, dire straits, and almost totally 'shut down'. Jobs were lost, soup lines blocks long daily, the wealthy were now poorer than most poor people.

This story is of 3 couples who were best friends. The men had a brokerage company and lost everything- - theirs as well as for their clients. But they all stuck
Apr 09, 2014 Penny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You've got to be kidding me!? That was the last thought I had when finishing this very long book. While I disagree with the reviewers that said it was poorly written, I completely agree that it lacked substance. A very long drawn out story that could easily be compiled into half the volume it is. Then I see that this is only book 1? Good God! The characters were so indistinguishable that even at the end of the story I was still mixing them up. Lots of potential was wasted here.
Jun 23, 2015 Candace rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was just ok. The characters just weren't that likable, or even relatable.
Chrystal Mahan
Jun 13, 2011 Chrystal Mahan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The one thing I can say about Jonathan’s Cross; it’s beautiful. I don’t usually say that about a novel because it is such a common descriptive word. There is something quite eloquent about the way M.L. Gardner brought us into this world of 3 couple who lose everything in one tiny move in the stock market. What got to me was how these men didn’t give in. Sure, they were down on their luck but they were determined not to be out. Jonathan went and secured apartments, jobs were found, and they began ...more
Anita Kelley Harris
This book turned out to be such a disappointment to me. I liked the premise and at first I was really into it. It starts out just after the crash of the stock market in 1929 and follows a group of three friends (married couples) through its aftermath and the Great Depression.

I was glued to the first 25% of the book and couldn't stop reading it. It had some really annoying formatting and editing issues-- paragraphs that went on for pages (not even breaking for dialogue), jarring switches of point
Aug 31, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely fabulous read! I loved every minute of it.

1929 is the story of three couples and their fight for survival after the Market crashes. Jon, Aryl and Caleb have been inseparable friends since childhood. They’ve grown up together, been at each other’s weddings and built their own brokerage firm. They and their wives are living the high life with fancy houses, fancy cars and fancy clothes. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s all gone. They are left with only the case they have stashe
Apr 21, 2014 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've now read the first 3 books in this series -- my review for every book is/will be the same. (I wrote "will be" since I know I'll keep reading to the end of the series.) In a nutshell, these are books I love to hate. The storyline is engaging, and I definitely want to keep reading to see what happens to all the characters. Having said that, there are SO MANY historical inaccuracies that it's almost, but not quite, enough to make me walk away. Other readers have pointed out some of the obvious ...more
Dec 30, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stock market crash of 1929 changed lives dramatically for people around the world. For three young couples living the good life in New York City it was the end of life as they had known it. The three men had grown up together and built their fortunes led by Jonathon, the financial genius of the trio. When they lose everything and are forced to move with their pampered wives to the worst of the city's tenements, it will challenge everything in them.
Jonathon and his wife, Ava, seem to be livin
Mar 15, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction at its best! This was the story of 3 friends: Jonathan, Caleb, and Aryl and their respective wives: Ava, Arianna, and Claire and how they stick together to ride out the trials and tribulations of the stock market crash, great depression, and life in general.

The story starts off on Black Thursday - the day that stock market crashed, when Jonathan Garrett lost everything. A one time successful stock-broker, he went from being one of the wealthiest men in NYC to one of the poore
Bill Thibadeau
Apr 07, 2015 Bill Thibadeau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At this writing, there are 637 reviews on Amazon. I don't know how much more I could add but I will give it a brief attempt. My comment about so many reviews is that I cannot fathom how 11 reviewers could only give this fine book of historical fiction only 1 star.

I am delighted to come across this book. I never experienced a period like the depression. I did experience the crash of 2008 when I retired and my investments circled the toilet. It may have been depression lite but nothing like what t
Feb 06, 2015 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have been such a great novel, but it fell vastly short of the rich subject matter it's supposed to mine from. Among it's many flaws is its point of view problem. It opens with an elderly Jonathan dictating his memoirs to Maura, his steadfast caregiver of many decades; however, as the book drones on, the point of view is constantly shifting between three men and three women, which would be impossible for Jonathan to know. In addition, the characters themselves are, as others have alrea ...more
Jan 04, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1929 New York city. The beginning of the truly 'hard times' our nation faced...probably the worst of times. The author does a fine job of putting us 'in it's midst' by introducing us to characters who had just lost it ALL. Fortunately, we are dealing with a group of three couples who are devoted to one another til the end, thus creating the support they all so very much need. These characters, each one, are created in depth showing each their own personalities and roles - which carry out appropr ...more
Vicki Nave
Sep 15, 2011 Vicki Nave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Heartwarming Saga

Jonathan's Cross is definitely not a book to start late in the day if you have a week of extra early mornings, because try as you may, you will not be able to put it down! However, it is well worth the sacrifice. M. L. Gardner does an excellent job of quickly grabbing the reader's attention and heartstrings and never lets go. The characters in Jonathan's Cross are superbly crafted and bring the time of the Great Depression to life in a new and fresh way. With the stock market
Jul 08, 2013 Susan rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very interesting, its characters very real. I often wonder what it was like for those who lost everything in the crash of 1929. Three men, who have been friends since childhood, have all lived the good life, thanks mostly to Jonathan, who owned a brokerage firm. The men are married, their wives are all good friends. They all lose everything in the crash and are reduced to becoming laborers in jobs as dock hands. Their strength is that the men, and their wives, are resilient. Th ...more
Apr 06, 2011 J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This debut novel from M.L. Gardner is quite impressive. "Jonathan's Cross" is a wonderful testimony of the human spirit with colorful and real-life characters, including an Irish heroine; all of whom will touch your heart in their own unique way and stay with you long after the last page. They speak to failure, loyalty, dysfunction, success, loss, devotion, betrayal, commitment, and life. No matter who you are, you will recognize yourself or a loved one in one of these characters.

Maura, the Iris
Heather Belleguelle
Saying that I absolutely loved and enjoyed this book is somewhat of an understatement! It's one of the best, if not THE best, books I've read this year (and I read a lot).

I was drawn into the story of Jonathan and his friends right from the first page. The characters were well drawn, and I felt that they were very real and relatable. I found that I could get alongside and understand each character and couple as they went through the ups and downs of their lives. There was so much in there - joys
Keith Baker
Jan 16, 2016 Keith Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this work to be well-researched, well-written, and peopled with interesting characters that I found entirely believable.
Historical Fiction is my favorite genre, though typically I favor works that cover the time periods of about 1500 thru 1900. So I wasn't sure what to expect reading a novel set in the end of the 1920s as the Great Depression came about.
Happily, the great writing and characterizations carried this work all the way thru. Not wanting to spoil anyone's journey of discovery,
Amanda Smith
I was really excited to read this series given the glowing reviews online, but I found some of the plots hard to follow and not all that interesting. The narrator switches back and forth, sometimes at awkward moments and I had to go back several times to make sure I was understanding what was really happening. I was expecting the series to be more of the Historical Fiction genre, but these books fall into more of the soap opera genre. Which is fine sometimes, but I was disappointed since the 20' ...more
Lisa Bodenberger
The author has done a very fine job of creating believable characters in an era long gone, but somehow rings true for the reader of today. I was surprised by the depth of each character as the story unfolds and pictured myself with them through all of their trials and triumphs. I am recommending this book to everyone who likes to read as it is a book that is hard to put down for wanting to know what will happen next to all of the people within. Of course there is the cliffhanger at the very end ...more
Jan 25, 2013 Sylvia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing all the glowing reviews, I was really excited to read this book.

What a major disappointment. The author could have done so much with the plot - three friends who lost everything in the depression - but really it's just words on a page; no depth, no emotion, no connection. The author presented a chronological series of events, which by the way, were slow and menial.

The author would concoct some predictable obtacle, build it up, then resolve it in one paragraph or less. Over and ove
Julie Bye
I struggled to get into this book. I'm not sure this really qualifies as an "historical novel" despite the year it was set. It's more of a soap opera set in the time of the depression. The melodrama dominates as the poor characters undergo one tragedy after another. Few of these are related to the historical period and their over reactions to minor personal issues in the face of major tragedies is so ridiculous you just want to slap their self-absorbed faces.
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M. L. Gardner is the bestselling author of the 1929 series. Gardner is frugal to a fault, preserving the old ways of living by canning, cooking from scratch, and woodworking. Nostalgic stories from her grandmother’s life during the Great Depression inspired Gardner to write the 1929 series—as well as her own research into the Roarin’ Twenties. She has authored eight books, two novellas, and one bo ...more
More about M.L. Gardner...

Other Books in the Series

The 1929 Series (6 books)
  • Elizabeth's Heart (The 1929 Series, #2)
  • 1930 (The 1929 Series, #3)
  • Drifter (The 1929 Series, #4)
  • Purgatory Cove (The 1929 Series, #5)
  • 1931 (The 1929 Series, #6)

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“You’ll do one of two things. Either ye’ll shut yer trap and carry yer disagreeable arse back to yer apartment, or ye’ll shut yer trap an' join us for a drink, leavin’ yer problems at the door.” 2 likes
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