A Land Remembered
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A Land Remembered

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4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  2,279 ratings  ·  439 reviews
In this best-selling novel, Patrick Smith tells the story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons. The story opens in 1858, when Tobias MacIvey arrives in the Florida wilderness to start a new life with his wife and infant son, and...more
Paperback, 403 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Pineapple Press (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

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Jim
I'm giving this book 4 stars, but I'm being a bit generous. It was almost worthy of 5 stars in places, but it was uneven. Especially the end was rushed, unfortunately. I'm really glad I read it though. If you liked John Jakes's Bicentenial series, this is similar, but follows 3 generations of a family across one century in Florida from the Civil War to the 1960's.

It's an excellent look at Florida in the latter half of the 19th century & at some of the pioneers who settled there, what they li...more
Brantlee
Great concept, poorly executed. I stuck with it for the natural history, and don't regret the read, but I would recommend this book to a creative writing class as a shining example of poor character development and unnatural dialog. The book follows the trials of three generations of a family, as they wrestle the elements and slowly emerge from a hand-to-mouth existence to become wealthy but still simple rancher/farmers. In three generations, there was not a single conflict among any of the char...more
Erin Heston
I really didn't want to read this book. A heart-rending account of a family's struggle to settle north and central Florida? Sigh. And I'm one of the few native Floridians (third generation, I should say)! But I finally cnsented and am so glad I did. The characters and their stories are engaging from the start. With vivid imagery and great respect for all our state once was, The author spins a historical tale of generations of settlers and entrepreneurs. I was surpised how quickly I finished it....more
Shelley
Winding back the clock to a past era, Patrick D. Smith writes his novel “A Land Remembered.” Before the Civil War’s outbreak, the MacIvey family flees to Florida in hopes to find a better life. In his historically accurate depiction, Smith illustrates the Florida that once was. Before condo’s, before Disney world, before I-95, and air conditioning; Florida rested as a barren extension to the North American continent. Smith captures Florida’s roots by taking his readers on a journey with fictiona...more
Samantha
Mar 07, 2008 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, Floridians
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
Many people seem to love this book by Patrick D. Smith, which tells 100 years of Florida history through the eyes of the menfolk of one Cracker family. And, in fact, the history is interesting, especially when you live within 40 or 50 miles of this family's homestead, an area that has now been mostly obliterated by development and so-called progress.

But I'm afraid that Smith's writing is not up to his good intentions. The characters in this book are two-dimensional at best (and the women, black...more
Bill
Not one of the world's great novels. But A Land Remembered deserves all those five stars for its warm, compelling, almost operatic story of generations who shaped Florida.

It begins before the Civil War, when Tobias and Emma MacIvey journey into Florida wilderness to begin a better life than they were able to carve out in Georgia. Young, scrappy, and barely literate, they become farmers, cattle-gatherers (the cattle were descendants of those brought over by the Spaniards centuries before), cattle...more
Rhonda
When I used to drive down the east coast to go to school in Miami, I would often arrive at the border as it was getting dark. From the first, I was almost in awe of what the land looked like against the light of civilization, a kind of primitive place where one might expect certain dinosaurs to live. I was more surprised when I discovered that the lower third of the state was entirely composed of a swamp. I was less surprised when over the years I heard of various plans to drain parts of the swa...more
Bill
Several have praised this book. They believe it is an excellent historical novel set in mid-19th and earl 20th century Florida. Granted, Florida's history is broad and complex but the history related here is narrow. It is almost entirely focused on the mid-Florida cattle industry developed by three generations of the MacIvey family.

With the exception of the MacIvey clan, almost all 19th Century southerners and most northerners were extremely prejudice. The MacIveys loved Indians and blacks. Thei...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Jun 20, 2009 JG (The Introverted Reader) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to JG (The Introverted Reader) by: My mother-in-law
Three generations of MacIvey men struggle to survive and thrive in the Florida wilderness among disasters of both the natural and man-made kind.

My mother-in-law insisted that I read this, basically because "it's so interesting to read about the history of the area" where she lives. She lives in Naples, FL, and all I know about the area is her neighborhood. We never get out and see anything when we visit, so that wasn't much of a recommendation for me. But being the meek daughter-in-law that I am...more
Amy S
First, please don't let my three stars keep you from reading this book. It is a FABULOUSLY informative book about the beginnings of Florida as a civilized place. The amazing courage and strength it took to live in this primitive wilderness was amazing. I really enjoyed the information on the Florida frontier life, the real estate boom of the twenties, the Native American life, etc. I really loved that. I gave it a three (and again, I wish I could give a 3 1/2), because he's just not a great writ...more
Natalie
The characters in the book were rather one-dimensional, and had no real flaws or growth over time (and the book takes place over several generations of one family, so that's a good deal of time). It also suffered from some editing errors - the spinach in the teeth of the literary world - and there are few other things as jarring to an aspiring copy editor/proofreader. I'm still giving it four stars. It was a captivating story, and my favorite character was the actual state of Florida itself; rea...more
Janice Dyck
I don't give many books a 5-star rating, only those that I think are unique in their genre and really add something to my ability to understand, to feel or to think. A Land Remembered is a simple story really. It's the kind of book to keep on the night stand and pick up and put down one chapter at a time, for each chapter is a separate story, really, summing up one phase in the development of the land we now know as Florida. From pre-civil war times to modern-day South Beach, it's all there--a s...more
Carolyn
Highly over-rated. Lots of incorrect Floridiana. Such as in December there is no change in the cypress trees to indicate winter! They are the first trees to turn rusty in the fall. Where did Patrick Smith do his research? I've lived east of Lake Okeechobee for 30 years and I was quite disappointed with this pedestrian western story. Spoilers: How sad that he choses to not even give Skillet's children names, they are just noisy black children. all the women remind me of the equally dreadful Bridg...more
Melinda
The best thing about this novel are the descriptions of Florida flora and fauna. I can also say that it reads like a TV mini-series in the vein of, say, Lonesome Dove, being a long, episodic adventure of multiple generations. I think a mini-series, which wouldn't be dependent on believable characterization and realistic dialogue, would showcase the best of this novel. The writing is weak and insipid. Zech, the patriarch of the clan, sticks up for the black man who comes to work for him (Smith's...more
Michael
Ok... I admit.. I thought this was a true story when started reading it. But quickly realized it was a novel. This book came highly recommended from everyone I knew that read it. Plus, I am a native Floridian that has family that lived in Big Cypress swamp country. I'm very familiar with Florida's environments and wildlife. I am usually not a fan of fiction, but I have to agree with the 5 or 6 people I know that read it .... This was a great book. I actually read it twice. I noticed some people...more
Barb Graf
Read this the fall of 2010; actually finished it while visiting daughter in FL; all the info about the history of FL really made the trip so much more interesting. A very earthy book about just how hard it was to be a settler and to survive. Also left me with a sad feeling about all that has been lost in the process of "civilization". Have passed this one on to many friends and they have loved it too. A friend from work first suggested it to me; she said it was "the best book I ever read".
Gabby
“A Land Remembered” by Patrick D. Smith was a really interesting book that I read during my freshman year of high school. Too be honest I wasn't really excited about reading this book because it was long and it looked like a very boring book at first. I mean who wants to read a book that's called "A Land Remembered" ...., exactly no one. But surprisingly something about Smith's writing made me enjoy the book. When I was reading the book I felt like I was actually in the story with Tobias and Zec...more
Leah
This, as a Florida historical fiction novel was really good. I learned quite a bit about the terrain of central/south FL, and many things I'd read a priori were confirmed.
Tobias and Zech are men who won't take crap from anybody. They jump into fights instantly, and if not for Tobia's wife Emma, they all would probably be dead. Nonetheless, they're survivors and they're immensely capable.
As with real life, there is many a tribulation and hardship in this volume. The MacIveys endure through many...more
Andrea Bomalaski
A land remembered is a novel by Patrick D. Smith and is about different generations of the same family living on land in Florida. It started in the late 1800s and went on for duration of about 100 years. The novel tells the story of their encounters with African Americans, Native Americans, and wildlife. Their ability to strive even in terrible poverty allowed them to be a very strong family. I didn’t like this book, only because I thought the reading of it was very slow and dry. The author spen...more
Sara
I chose to read this book because it was referenced in Florida mystery novel that I had just finished. Much to my delight, it was one of the many books sitting on my bookshelves. This easy read takes place over a period of 100 plus years and spans three generations. I felt like I could have been reading a book about the west. Even though I spent my formative years in Florida, this is not the Florida that I knew. I never thought about there being prairies in Florida or cattle drives, or cattle ru...more
Alex Perez
Other than the last 50 pages, which felt like one long epilogue, this is one of the best pieces of historical fiction I have ever read. Being a Florida native who has lived or stayed in many parts of the state, as well as having camped in the wilderness of Florida, this book struck home. It focuses on the lives of the MacIvey family, who before the Civil War left Georgia to make a living in the unconquered wilderness of Florida.
One of the things I found very interesting and most impressive was h...more
Dylan Ryland
A Land Remember is my all-time favorite book. I’ve read the book a few times and it gets better every time. I love old Florida and stories about it and the way people used to live on the land and from the land instead of big cities and Walmart. A lot of people nowadays wouldn’t like the book because it tells how life was back then and people now are into technology and are more into future stuff and don’t appreciate the people who settled here and traveled across the land through all the excitin...more
Daniel O'Brien
“A Land Remembered” by Patrick D. Smith was an amazing book I read during my freshman year of high school. Because it was an assigned summer reading book for the summer before my 9th grade year, I wasn’t exactly excited about having to read it. To say I was pleasantly surprised however is an understatement. I could hardly put the book down. Smith has a very gripping style of writing that makes you feel as though you’re waiting on the edge of your seat for something even if it’s at a slower part...more
Mackenzie Hennis
I love this book 100%! I read it in seventh grade and then again in 9th and I loved it the same if not more the second time. Thinking back and thinking how I'm remembering less and less about the book keeps urging me to pick it up again. Only more time is passing. I loved the setting of the novel. I really enjoy reading books that take you back to a different time. You see how different things are and then you also see how some things never change. I'm not a person who particularly likes change,...more
Helen
The recent death of Patrick Smith inspired me to read his epic novel spanning a century of Florida history and three generations of the MacIvey family. The pioneer, a poor dirt farmer named Tobias, brought his wife and son south from Georgia to settle in the Florida scrub in 1858. His son, Zech, built a cattle and citrus empire. His grandson, Sol, ended up a multi-millionaire Miami real estate developer. In between, it's a story of hardship and hard work, of battles with mosquitoes, rattle snake...more
Renee
It was a good representation of Florida's history, which is why it earned two stars. Based solely on the writing and the story, it doesn't deserve a single star. I don't know how this book got published and I wonder even more where the editors were.
Morgan
I did not enjoy this book and wouldn't recommend if to anyone. The first few chapters were so dry and didn't catch my attention whatsoever. If I didn't have to read this book for school I wouldn't have read it at all. Growing up in Florida, did allow me to understand the book more but I found it very uninteresting. Maybe it was that it was from to long ago that I couldn't get interested but I found it extremely boring. I didn't like the writing style and found myself falling asleep as I read. Pe...more
Cameron Osman
This book is my all time favorite book. I loved reading about how the family progressed and got through trials and tribulations. This book is widely praised in my high school. It kept me so intrigued and captivated. It is the only book that kept me wanting to read more and that I actually read from the front cover to the back cover without skipping a word, comma or question mark. Sometimes I forgot to eat sleep and shower because I was reading this book. The way that the family progressed along...more
Clayton
I thought it was a really good book to read.But i didnt like how the dude watched his wife die in the storm.But overall i liked the book and it was an interest to read.I liked reading it and think other people should read it.
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Patrick Smith is a 1999 inductee into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, the highest and most prestigious cultural honor that can be bestowed upon an individual by the State of Florida.
In May 2002 Smith was the recipient of the Florida Historical Society’s Fay Schweim Award as the “Greatest Living Floridian.” The one-time-only award was established to honor the one individual who has contributed th...more
More about Patrick D. Smith...
A Land Remembered, Volume 2 Forever Island and Allapattah The River Is Home: And Angel City. a Patrick Smith Reader Angel City Forever Island

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