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Casting Stones, New Unabridged Version

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  200 ratings  ·  37 reviews
James Raven is a man who needs to be saved. Poor choices, guilt, and desperation trap him in a marriage he doesn't want to survive. Salvation comes in its own good time and with a heavy price.

Bloodstained hands will bury secrets deep in the Loess Hills of Missouri. Stones now cover a tragic past yet the question remains…how long can a man hide his sins.

Casting Stones – New
Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published June 27th 2012 by Less Traveled Road Publishing (first published January 21st 2012)
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Wow. This is one of those compelling books that kept me up all night to read it, and when it was over, all I could was think, "Wow. That was one of the most emotionally-charged books I've ever read." After reading the Casting Stones: The Prelude, I was eager to find out what happened to James Raven and Esther. James chose to marry someone else, leaving Esther heartbroken. After his wife dies, he returns, and Esther believes this is her second chance.

It's hard to say what happens in this book wi
Carrie Rubin
A great dramatic read that takes place in Nebraska and Missouri in the 1920s to 1940s. The characters so richly drafted, you half expect to find them down your street. But hopefully, Esther Barton will not be! She is a bitter, vengeful woman and makes for a nasty villain from the start.

This book is well-written and flows from beginning to end. There is plenty of family drama and turmoil, but there are also flashes of goodness and joy. Let’s hope we see more from this author!
Spell binding. The lives of these people are so dramatic and well written I was practically glued to the pages. Because of one small mistake in judgement James Raven has cast his lot to the wind. G.M. Barlean brings you through a whirlwind of emotions the main one is revenge for the father and son. The ending was totally unexpected and as perfectly written as the rest of the book. You will not be disappointed in reading Casting Stones.
An amazing read! It was an emotional roller-coaster that had me tightly gripping my Nook and later on my hands were up high cheering in the air as the characters lived out there life in Nebraska in the early 1900’s. James was living the perfect life, happily married with an adorable little baby but suddenly his perfect life was about to change. How James dealt with this change would affect his life forever. I would like to tell you more about the book but I am afraid of spoiling it but I could t ...more
Eric Dunn
It has been a very long time since I have had an emotional investment in a book. Casting Stones had me in it's grip from the beginning of page 1. There were times when I was reading that I wanted to literally yell and scream at the characters in this book. There where times where I felt sad for some of the characters in the story. There were times when I had to set the book down and come back to it because I couldn't stand to read anymore about what was going on. This book was a masterpiece when ...more
Gina Barlean has created a compelling account of two families whose destiny and misfortune are irrevocably intertwined. The lives of James Raven and his son Jim are molded by circumstance and the manipulation of the Barton zealots. The story is intense in its delivery. The narration is deceptively low key, but Barlean builds both empathy and loathing for her characters to the point that you just wish someone would come and do something about it. Enter Tom Andrews, a good guy who gets pulled into ...more
This is a sad tale reminding me in part of biblical Jacob and how he was deceived. I found that duplicity here to be a bit of a stretch seeing that Esther hadn't split after what she deemed as James' sin. She measured her own wrongdoings against the sins of others thereby justifying her own actions.

Esther learned well, her father's evil ways. Claiming to be a Christian, she judged others just as he had by twisting and taking out of context, the words of the bible. She knew no love and showed no
This was a sad situation yet in one aspect delightful as well.
It is sad that some are raised where cruelty abounds.
Some take pieces of the bible to fit their own interpretation then say it is the Lord's will.
Others try to live as the Lord truly wills.
In both cases this is well-written and clean enough I would let a young Adult read it as well as adults.
I would also recommend this trilogy to book clubs. There are a lot of good discussion questions to be raised.
This story is heart wrenching, but so well done. I wanted to cry from the first chapter on, but made it through, needing to reach a conclusion so that my mind would not be consumed with the characters so much. I'd stop at a chapter, but have to come back quick since I was engrossed in the characters' woes. Barlean did a superb job. Now I need to finish Part 3--Conclusions.
Deb Novack
This was an emotional book for me. It told the story of James and his highs and lows through out his lifetime. Each character was so clear with their emotions through the story. Casting Stones could be the story of any of our lives. The way the book was written it seemed as though a lifetime went by in a few pages. A wonderfully written book.
Carrie Rubin
Wonderful conclusion to the novel "Casting Stones". Although the novel had a great ending as it was, this short story gives the reader some additional closure. A very clever idea by the author--kind of like an extended epilogue. It is a quick read and I recommend it to anyone who's read the novel.
Nice conclusion to this story. Thank you Gina for not leaving me hanging, wondering if more terrible things would happen because of the 'big' secret.
Apr 26, 2012 Peggy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: light-fiction
This was a free Kindle book. I have become a bit discouraged with most of the free books-but this was an exception! It was very good! I recommend it!
Of Mice and Men kept wafting through my brain. The bonds between the members of a dysfunctional family and the justice served up home style!
So Sad. I kept saying, oh my gosh...... Could it get any worse? I wanted to look away but couldn't.
Elizabeth  Rodenburg Punko
Well written and packed full of action but extremely sad. A well worth it quick read. (112 pgs)
I enjoyed reading Casting Stones by G. M. Barlean, very much. It is a taut historical drama, with the emotion played just right and never overwrought.

The book tells the story of James Raven and his family, the tragedy involving his first marriage and the nightmare existence that becomes his second marriage. It takes the reader on a tense ride through his turmoil to the stunning conclusion.

I love good historical fiction and Casting Stones fits the bill. It’s not one of the sweeping epics or histo

Great Trilogy for Book Clubs!
This was a sad situation yet in one aspect delightful as well.
It is sad that some are raised where cruelty abounds.
Some take pieces of the bible to fit their own interpretation then say it is the Lord's will.
Others try to live as the Lord truly wills.
The body of the story portrays how anger and rebellion most often result in critical situations.
Some choices have far-reaching consequences and affects more than just one's life.
The question often asked is if it was wo
The description is what pulled me into reading this prelude, and it hooked me in enough to read the next book. In this story, we're introduced to James Raven and Esther. Her father sent her over to William (James' father) and James' home to cook and clean. Esther's father is sure that James will one day be her husband, and Esther is sure of this, too. But will James follow the path set out for him or choose his own way?

Like I said, this story pulled me in. The characters felt real to me, which I
Sophie Caliendo
This should be a best seller. At first I was unsure where this story was going. But it turns out to be a incredible, unbelievable, but yet-very believable story. I wish this author would write more like this. Fast read, quality writing and outstanding content.
Ms. Barlean does an exceptional job of detailing each of the characters found in the story. You immediately connect to each of them on a level leaving you either rooting for them and/or hating them. The setting is the early 1920's on a Nebraska farm. James Raven loses his young wife in a tragic swimming accident. He returns to his father's farm in Missouri with the intention of joining his father and working the land together. He never gets the opportunity to do so as his father passes away befo ...more
Has the makings of a good story but I felt like the author's writing style didn't execute what could have been a more compelling book. It lacked depth in its character development for me & I just kept wanting it to be better .
Ahhhhh. One of the most horribly depressing books... wait...THE MOST horribly depressing books of all time. I almost quit reading it, and if I wasn't stuck on a bus in rush hour traffic I would have. I give it 2 instead of 1 star; however, because it has great character development and definitely gets a reader emotionally charged as others have pointed out. Just when I thought the story could not get worse it DID. Then continued to go downhill more and more nearly to the point of being comical ( ...more
This book was ... interesting. A decent (if predictable) story and a very quick read, but the pacing was off, the writing was lacking in places, and I didn't feel like I really knew any of the characters well (with the exception of Esther, who I almost felt sorry for at the beginning). If you're into soap opera-type fiction, this book will be right up your alley. For those of you looking for substantial characters and a moving plot, look elsewhere.
Kathryn Gilmore
Casting Stones is an amazing story of living with the consequences of your actions. The story is so well written you will have a hard time putting it down. Barlean crawls into the heads of her characters and shows us what great emotion is all about. I'm now reading Barlean's newest book, The Thorns of Rosewood. Her books just keep getting better and better! Love the ladies, hate Naomi. Great writing!
This prelude to the complete novel 'Casting Stones' is definitely a drawing point. You're pulled into the lives of the characters from the very first page. I was really upset when it drew to a close. Couldn't wait to dig into the full novel just to see what would happen next. This is a great short read and a must read before the complete book.
This is a story of a soul that is so filled with jealousy that it turns evil and makes lives subsisting unbearable.
The author gave a well thought out tale and I felt as if I was part of the story watching everything that was going on. I really wanted a happy ending and for those that deserved it, their dues. Very good book!
Janet Maxwell
A captivating story that grips your heart and attention. The characters are richly constructed and feel as if they have been a part of your life all along. Meer acquaintances that pass by at the grocery store or the post office, however, the disbelief is unbearable as their family skeletons come tumbling out of the closet.
Once again, Casting Stones Trilogy offers great discussion questions for all book clubs. Conclusions finalizes the situations created in Prelude Casting Stones and Casting Stones, yet isn't totally surprising.
It is very 'cleanly' written so Young Adults could review this series as well.
You can't always get what you want.

Short intro to the book by the same name.

William's wife/James' mother dies. James has someone in mind to court. Esther has someone in mind to court her. Things don't always turn out like we want.
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My life is full, my friends are many. I write, I read and I read about writing. When I'm not doing that, I'm quite probably cooking.

I have a wonderful husband, two grown children busy living their own lives, a silver Schnauzer and a shedding white cat.

More about G.M. Barlean...
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