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A Land Remembered

4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,615 Ratings  ·  573 Reviews
"A Land Remembered" has been ranked #1 Best Florida Book eight times in annual polls conducted by Florida Monthly Magazine. PIn 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 sto ...more
Paperback, 403 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Pineapple Press (first published 1984)
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Alien Species Intervention by J.K. AccinniBaby by J.K. AccinniTheir Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale HurstonA Land Remembered by Patrick D. SmithThe Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Best Books Set in or About Florida
4th out of 262 books — 152 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Southern Literature
193rd out of 887 books — 2,243 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 28, 2011 Brantlee rated it it was ok
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
Apr 09, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
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
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
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
Mar 07, 2008 Samantha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, Floridians
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Heston
Jul 19, 2013 Erin Heston rated it really liked it
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
Feb 21, 2014 Rhonda rated it really liked it
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
Apr 13, 2011 Shelley rated it really liked it
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
Cindy Rinaman
Mar 08, 2016 Cindy Rinaman rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reviews
I'm choosing four stars mostly because of the personal/family interest. My great grandparents (two sets) were in North and South Florida, respectively, and two grandmothers grew up in those areas, plus one grandfather as a teen working his uncle's cattle operation in the Miami area, and our family has had strong roots throughout the state all my life, and I love the landscapes of "old Florida." The writing quality and the story are more of a three-star effort, but I highly recommend this book to ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical-novel
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
Oct 22, 2014 Melissa rated it it was ok
Eeeeehhhhhh a multigenerational soap opera wrapped in the guise of historical fiction from the ever riveting perspective of white dudes.
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Jun 20, 2009 JG (The Introverted Reader) rated it liked it  ·  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
Amy S
Dec 20, 2009 Amy S rated it liked it
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
Janice Dyck
Jun 26, 2011 Janice Dyck rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 08, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
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. As a 37 year Florida n ...more
Barb Graf
Jul 28, 2011 Barb Graf rated it it was amazing
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".
Entertaining historical fiction set in Florida mainly in the latter half of the 19th century. I very much enjoyed the story of the first generation of the family and the hardships they had to endure and overcome just to eke out a living in the Florida wilderness. Unfortunately the second generation story had a bit too much romance which was tiresome and the third generation story, which hit the 20th century, was shoe-horned into the last couple of hours of the audio. The narration by George Guid ...more
Josh Liller
May 03, 2014 Josh Liller rated it really liked it
I finally read this book under a perfect storm: half a dozen personal recommendations within a year, acquiring a free copy, heading up a Florida book club, and the author's death. I think I was just old enough to not have it assigned as reading when I was in school.

This book lives up to its hype. I found it an easy and interesting read with a great view of Florida Cracker life. In its effort to be realistic, it is fairly serious and often sad. There are few typical villains full of greed and mal
Jun 19, 2009 Bill rated it really liked it
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
Dec 02, 2008 Natalie rated it really liked it
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
Cameron Osman
Apr 14, 2014 Cameron Osman rated it it was amazing
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
Robert Clancy
A Land Remembered is a fictional insight into early Florida (1860-1880) exploration and colonization. It attempts to give an accurate feeling for what early settlers had to contend with in rural, uninhabited Florida. However, it is a prime example of what I'll call "Pollyanna historical fiction." By "Pollyanna history" I mean a 21st century tendency of portraying a "politically correct/wishful" fictional depiction of events, characters and their actions. In A Land Remembered, every escaped slave ...more
Jul 14, 2014 Brian rated it liked it
My Floridian in-laws recommended this book. It's a fascinating look at development in Florida from the Civil War to modern times. Written through the eyes of a fictionalized family, it gives perspective into the rise of U.S. civilization in Florida.
The writing is of average quality, a bit wordy and colloquial but in a way that contributes to the tone of the book. The characters are equal parts well thought out and caricature. There's not much by way of character growth or changes, but I found a
Apr 16, 2014 Melinda rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
Larry B Gray
Mar 10, 2011 Larry B Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can truely say this is one of the best if not the best book I have ever read. It is the kind of book that you will read every word because you do not want to miss a thing. Patrick D. Smith paints a story with his words that captures the true life of 3 generations of a pioneer family in the wilds of Florida in the mid-eighteen hundreds through the next 100 years. Their struggles and triumphs tells a story of courage and a sense of family.

I highly recommend this book as a must read for all ages.
Jarret Rodriguez
Oct 15, 2014 Jarret Rodriguez rated it it was amazing
This story is basically about a family that starts there life over again in the south florida wilderness and lived there for about three generations of the Maciveys. A Florida family who battle the hard life of the south florida frontier to rise from a poor Cracker life. The Macivery family which is Tobias (father), Emma (mother) and Zech (son of Tobias and Emma) left there homestead and farm life behind in Georgia, they feared for their life because of the rising of the civil war. Also Tobias d ...more
May 01, 2014 Gabby rated it it was amazing
“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
Oct 04, 2015 Caryl rated it it was ok
Good to read because of the setting of Florida's history but disappointing in character development.
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
Oct 25, 2014 TK421 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family-epic
One of the greatest family sagas I have ever read! I wish this book was twice as long. It is a shame that the author, Patrick D. Smith, and his works have been relegated to that place of forgotten lore, you know, the place where the truly incredible, deliciously descriptive narratives reside, collecting dust and yellow pages while they fade away from the shelves. If you can find this book, read it...

Andrea Bomalaski
Apr 29, 2014 Andrea Bomalaski rated it did not like it
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
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Florida Reading Challenge for 2016 3 10 Jun 30, 2016 11:20AM  
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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 about Patrick D. Smith...

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“All I'm trying to tell you is to be strong. Don't ever let nothing get you down. Don't be afraid or ashamed to love, or to grieve when the thing you love is gone. Just don't let it throw you, no matter how much it hurts.” 17 likes
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