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Savannah, or A Gift for Mr. Lincoln

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  996 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Georgia 1864: Sherman's army marches inexorably from Atlanta to the sea. In its path: the charming old city of Savannah, where the Lester ladies-attractive widow Sara and her feisty twelve-year-old daughter Hattie-struggle to save the family rice plantation. When Sherman offers the conquered city to President Lincoln as "a Christmas gift," Hattie and the feared general fin ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 6th 2005 by Signet (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,627)
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William
The only other work of Jakes that I have read was Charleston. Savannah is a completely different type of book. The main character is a young girl, which makes the book feel like it is geared toward the teenage crowd. Descriptions are not very detailed and all of the action that takes place is void of any feeling of excitement. I was expecting something similar to Charleston with its complex families and detailed descriptions of places and events. My main purpose for reading this book was the hop ...more
Kyle Kerns
A very uncharacteristic John Jakes book, Savannah never seemed to get going, and I didn't find myself drawn into the characters and time period of the book. Rather than an in depth (though fictional) account of historical events, this book was quite simply a "light read." From the young girl (the main character) having a pig as a pet and taking it for walks on a leash to the very fact that the book had pictures (drawings like a kid's book), I just couldn't take it seriously and cannot consider i ...more
Stacy
Start with the good: I liked the historical details, I liked learning about the Civil War time period and specifically about city I would love to visit someday.

But this story was also cheesy and somewhat predictable. The characters were skin-deep, stereotyped, and superficially developed, and I found Hattie's character to be unbelievable as a 12-year-old girl. Meh! There's gotta be better historical fiction out there, maybe just not on audio CD at my local library (which is where I got this one)
...more
Steve
Mailing it in…

Jakes is totally mailing it in. …and frankly just grabbing at extra money. In the end notes of this, there is a little story about the editors discussing Jakes' next book…this book. That story should be rewritten to read: "we were brainstorming about how to best quickly cash in on your current base of knowledge with a hokey story, undeveloped characters and ridiculous plots and basically piss of your fan base. Oh…don't worry…your 73, this is probably the last time to cash in anyway
...more
Ray Ziemer
Although I enjoyed getting a little more insight into the city of Savannah, particularly its Civil War past, this book by best-selling author John Jakes was kind of disappointing. We just visited Savannah for a quick 24 hrs., enjoying a trolley tour and a nice evening on the Riverfront. That was enough to convince me to return some day, to explore the many public squares and historic buildings. Although like most Southern Cities, Savannah suffered damage during the Civil War, but nothing like th ...more
Jo Ann
I love Savannah, so I really looked forward to reading this work of historical fiction. I enjoyed the historical details, Sherman's march on Savannah, and his Christmas gift to Lincoln of preserving this beautiful city, yet conquering it. The book and its characters just seemed shallow and trite to me, though, and on the whole, I was disappointed.
Tamhack
This is the story of Sherman's occupation of Georgia from the occupants view point. It was a good thing that Sherman played a part in ending the Civil War but he was black and white about it. This black and white attitude of Sherman's carried on into his career with the Indians--he felt that all the Indians were to be on the reservations, end the story, period.

So with Sherman's attitude and move forwardness no matter what the cost, the people of Savannah did have many fears, misgivings about She
...more
Benjamin Thomas
John Jakes is another one of "my" authors, or an author that I will pretty much purchase and read anything they publish. Over the years, these authors have changed somewhat, particularly if there is a downard trend in quality. "Savannah: or A Gift for Mr Lincoln" ranks on the lower end of Mr Jakes' work but still there is enough enjoyment here to keep him on my list. His last three books have suffered some so he's pushing it a little but his age would dictate there aren't too many novels left in ...more
Sandy
This book was interesting and a quick read, but I lost much of my interest in the book when the author repeatedly implied that one of the main characters (an overweight woman with apparently no male suitors) was secretly hoping to the possibility of "outrages" being committed upon her by the Union soldiers. I don't think any normal woman (which this woman appeared to be) in any way desires to be raped. I think that the author perpetuates a myth by repeatedly alluding to this in the book. (When I ...more
LemonLinda
This did not feel typical of a Jakes novel for me. I did enjoy the enjoy the story. The Lester women, mother and daughter have to leave their plantation outside of Savannah as Sherman's army approaches. And when the army reaches Savannah they have several skirmishes with renegade Union soldiers. They even personally encounter Sherman through the feistiness of the daughter which did for me was very unreal. The ladies (mom and her friend with which they are staying in town) meet Yankees and begin ...more
Meghan
I haven't read a John Jakes book in literally decades (read his North and South Trilogy when I was in junior high, but don't remember anything about it other than I liked it) and picked this up by chance at the library the other day. Set during the Civil War and the capture of Savannah, it's a gentle story of the kindness of strangers and the Christmas spirit during a time of war and devastation.
Deb
What can you say that is new about John Jakes historical novels? This one is set in the beautiful city of Savannah. That in itself should add a star to the rating. The characters are well thought out and they feel familiar. Reading Savannah was like putting on your most comfortable clothes, putting on your favorite music and curling up with the book and your favorite drink. It made Gen. Sherman more likeable. He became a man, with a family instead of this larger than life hard-nosed General. Can ...more
Barb
I had just finished Charleston which was very comprehensive and well done. I was expecting Savannah to be equally good but was disappointed. It seemed that the author was attempting a more light hearted book with a touch of humor added. I did appreciate Miss Vi and her theatrics about the northern soldiers but otherwise found the book a bit of a let- down.
Michael O'Gara
This book is an entertaining and easy read for those who like historical novels. The characters are interesting and the plot is light. It is set in Georgia in 1864 during the Christmas season as the Yankees approach Savannah.

The jacket describes the book as follows: "This rousing tale of battlefield danger, wartime romance, and indomitable courage brings ....." I didn't see the book that way. I didn't find it rousing; my blood pressure never rose with passion, emotion, and enthusiasm. I did fin
...more
David Richardson
OK book, nothing to get too excited about. A bit on the "herky-jerky" side. I found it a bit hard to read because even though I have lived my entire life in the south there were a lot of words and phrases that I have never heard before. Civil war fans might like this book better that I did.
Rosie
Was not happy about this book. I have loved the other books I have read by this author. This seemed to be written for young readers. The writing was very simplistic and it was just silly to read. Way different than his other writings. I gave it up after about 59 pages.
Holly
I enjoyed the book, especially after recently vacationing the area. It was neat to be able to recall figures and places of the civil war that I had seen on my trip. I learned more perspective on the Civil War and how it impacted different groups of people. It's a quick and easy read with a good narrative.
Ann
Started this audiobook not realizing it was an abridged version. Do not like abridged versions. All the facts, disjointed, and the meat is missing Always interested in Savannah, and in American history, will some day re-read this book in an unabridged version.
Kimberly L
I originally found this book in the condo that my family was staying in while on vacation at the beach. I picked it up and couldn't put it down. I'm a huge history buff, so anything that combines history with my love of fiction is good in my book. It's been a long time, so I can't go into details, but I can say that Jakes does a fabulous job weaving a tale that you want to believe.
Marilyn
This was a great book to read after The Kent Family Chronicles #5 - The Titans. (It was an accident, but a good one) In the Titans, I believe Lincoln had just been elected and the war had just gotten off to a good start. This book isn't part of the Kent Family Chronicles, but it is about Sherman's ravaging the country, burning Atlanta Georgia, and marching on to take over Savannah. This all happened right at Christmas time, so someone suggested that Sherman offer Savannah to President Lincoln as ...more
Linda
I thought this book was slow to start and dragged in places. John Jakes is certainly a popular author so I will have to read one more of his books to see if I enjoy them to a higher degree. The story starts out with Hattie, Legrand, and the pet pig Amelia enjoying a fine day outside.

These characters lead us through the capture of the town of Savannah, GA after the burning of Atlanta by General Sherman's Yankee troops. Hattie is a 'died in the wool' rebel and even moving into town from the rice p
...more
Lisa
Set in Georgia in 1864, this historical novel paints a picture of the Civil War mostly through the eyes of a 12 year old girl and her mother.




Jane Hyde
filler book while waiting for other reads
Easy read with a host of characters: civilians struggling with the occupation of Sherman's Union troops, bleak weather, limited food and it is Christmastime. There are the honest rebel civilians dealing with the generousity of union forces and the unethical rebel relatives. Race relations are addressed to a lesser degree with Adam and Zip. Sherman himself is a major player as he relates to the Hattie, 12 yr old girl, her mother Mrs Lester and their friend
...more
ROBB
I bought this book simply because it was written by John Jakes, author of a favorite series of mine "North and South" trilogy. Savannah didn't grip me as much as the other books did, but it does have some great characters, and you sympathize with the people of Savannah as they await the on-coming Yankees led by Ohio's own General Sherman. There are some great scenes of courage of the Southern women who were mostly alone during the war. I plan to re-read this book to get more out of it because ma ...more
Brenda Freeman
Disappointing. Have loved so many of his books, but this one lacked interest. No real focal point to catch your interest.
Barb
Not my favorite John Jakes novel, but an easy, quick read, with a simple, historical plot.
rinabeana
John Jakes's stand-alone novels just don't have the same feel as his sweeping sagas. The story spans about a month leading up to and after Christmas 1864. There is character development, but the story still seems somewhat abbreviated to me. I suppose it's not fair to compare it to the North and South trilogy or the Kent Family Chronicles. As always, Jakes weaves his fictional characters into a historical framework and I definitely saw a side of Sherman that I'd not ever thought of. It was wonder ...more
Jennifer
I read this while in Savannah and appreciated the history of the period.
Monica
I just decided to pick a book up while at the library. Savannah just grabbed my attention when I read the summary.

Hattie and her Mother Sara are trying to save their family rice plantation in Savannah Georgia in 1864. Sherman brings his army through Atlanta and is heading right to Savannah.

Listening to the story was very entertaining. Hattie has no problem standing up to Sherman. Her mother doesn't care for the cavalrymen because she is a widow because of the war. The romances that do blossom t
...more
Ann Freeman
John Jakes, as always, is solid on his historical research and period writing, but the story is just a little too pat, for such a complex period. Race relations, North/South relations, etc. just seem a little too easy for most of the characters. The writing also seemed rather juvenile. I felt like it would be an excellent book for middle schoolers. The story, itself, was interesting, but not convincing enough. Some characters seemed a little too eccentric to be true, some too honorable to be tru ...more
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John Jakes, the author of more than a dozen novels, is regarded as one of today’s most distinguished writers of historical fiction. His work includes the highly acclaimed Kent Family Chronicles series and the North and South Trilogy. Jakes’s commitment to historical accuracy and evocative storytelling earned him the title of “the godfather of historical novelists” from the Los Angeles Times and le ...more
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