Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Evergreen” as Want to Read:
Evergreen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Evergreen (Werner Family Saga #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  17,623 ratings  ·  190 reviews
The towering modern classic of passion andambition that forever changed the way we see thecourageous immigrants who came to America's shores -- thestory of Anna Friedman transfixes us with theturbulent emotions of a woman and her family touchedby war, tragedy, and the devastating secrets of oneforbidden love... bittersweet and evergreen.


From the Paperback edition.
...more
ebook, 704 pages
Published December 16th 2009 by Dell (first published 1978)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Evergreen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Evergreen

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 29, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
I could see why some might like this. Sometimes you're in the mood for a long trashy wallow, and this could deliver it. Here you have nearly 700 pages of eye-straining small font about a Polish Jew, Anna, who comes to America not long after the turn of the 20th Century in the years before World War I. She starts out living with her cousin on Hester street, and I imagine many might have seen the stories of their own grandmothers and great-grandmothers in Anna when this was published. I can unders ...more
Stacy
This is one of my favorite books of all time. My mother gave me a copy when I was a teenager and I stayed up late many nights reading under the covers long after I should have been asleep. It is a sweeping family saga full of characters you care about, and whom you will miss when you put this book back on the shelf. Anna, Paul and Joseph are real people with real flaws, a refreshing change from the perfect protagonists that Danielle Steele is famous for (and who happen to bug the heck out of me) ...more
Donna
I just loved this book. The characters were so real to me and getting to know each of them made me want to know more about them.
Anna, yearning for a more and better life, flees Poland to go to America. She comes to New York and moves in to live with cousin Ruth and husband, Solly Levinson, 4 children and 6 boarders. She worked sewing to make a living. She went to a school to learn more and met a wonderful teacher, Ms. Thorne. Becoming restless with sewing, Anna found a job as a maid in the home
...more
Philip
There are books that may not be written with great 'literary' style, but which are nevertheless written with a talent for good, sincere storytelling. EVERGREEN is one such novel, and it belongs on a shelf with similar novels such as Colleen McCullough's THE THORN BIRDS and Rosamund Pilcher's THE SHELL SEEKERS, wonderfully entertaining family sagas spanning generations and often continents as well, peopled with colorful characters and chronicling the universal joys and sorrows of life.

There are t
...more
JoAnne Pulcino
EVERGREEN

Belva Plain

I'm not quite sure how I become obsessed with reviewing the "Golden Oldies"! But, I'm definitely hooked, so you can bear with me or ignore me.

EVERGREEN is a modern classic saga of the courageous immigrants who faced gigantic odds and came to America. Anna Friedman transfixes us with her passion, determination and passion. She and her family survive war, tragedy, secrets and forbidden love, bittersweet and evergreen.

A beautifully written book with a magnificent story that swee
...more
Julie
Okay, so when I first started this book I thought it would be an epic about the courage and spirit that comes shining through as people face the hardships that life has to offer. As it turned out it is not all that deep and has a real soap opera feel to it. Yuck, disappointment abounds. Slam! (that was the book closing in frustration) No I am not finishing it. It is a waste of time and there are good things to read all around. So it is onward for me.
Riccarla Roman
I started reading this book because I got the book "Complete Idiot's Guide The Ultimate Reading List". It was the first book on the Popular fiction list. I vaguely remembered seeing it before but it looked like my kind of book - big, juicy, multi-generational saga.
It is. Following Anna as she grows up in Europe, comes to America, and has the whole immigrant experience. Living in the poor Jewish section of New York, going to work as a maid in a wealthy household (attracting the attention of the s
...more
Sue
A multi-generational saga beginning with Anna who comes to the States as a 17yr old from a Polish village to live in NY city with relatives. She works for a while as a servant to a wealthy family before she marries Joseph Friedman, also from an immigrant family, and they begin their life together. Joseph works hard in order to rise out of poverty to the lifestyle of the wealthy. Together they raise two children, Maury and Iris, who both go on to marry with children of their own. Then down to th ...more
Jamie Casey
Belva Plain has been one of my favorite authors since my teenage years.

After reading this book again...I remembered why Belva Plain is one of my favorite authors. I HAD to get her ENTIRE collection, and read them all again, start to finish.

This one starts Anna's life/journey. Her parents migrate to the USA for a better life. The book follows her throughout her life. Her love and family bond is the most important thing to her. She'll do ANYTHING to protect it. She falls in love with a rich man,
...more
Angie
One of my all-time favorite family sagas!!

We follow Anna as young girl in Poland to the US and through her long life. As time passes, you meet many different family members and get to live their experiences as well. I didn't always agree with their choices, but I thoroughly enjoyed the journey! Although this is a novel, it has some deep and insightful writing. I often found myself identifying with the thoughts and feelings of the characters. I've read this book several times, and each time I hav
...more
Jennie
I selected this book based on the Goodreads recommendation as a Family Saga. Many things about this book are similar to The Thornbirds. I love sweeping stories that cover long periods of time, like ...And Ladies of the Club, Gone With the Wind, The Thornbirds, Roots, As the Crow Flies, and The House of the Spirits. While I definitely enjoyed this book, any of the aforementioned titles are more substantial and riveting reading along the same lines. Evergreen is easy to read, entertaining, but fai ...more
Mamta Belani
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I stumbled upon this book as a teenager and stayed up many a nights to complete this book. It is one of those books that I come back to time & again. The characters are some that you end up caring about deeply ~ read this book - you will understand my stance!
Kristen
This is a beautiful story about family and generations of family, of loss of life and bringing new life to the world. It's romance, historical, literary, and all of the above, all wrapped up in this long book, which took me 2 1/2 days. A great read! I believe I saw the TV mini-series of this long time ago.
Sharon
Read this 25 or 30 years ago and have read it at least 3 times since. I love it and it is the book that got me hooked on Belva Plain. This book is exactly the kind of historical fiction that keeps me turning pages way past my bedtime.
Dottie Legatos
One of the best books I've read in quite some time. The story of an immigrant family's journey through the 20th century. Excellent!
Lorilynn
couldn't put this one down. reminiscent of immigrants coming to the united states through ellis island.
Phoebe
Feb 22, 2014 Phoebe rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Phoebe by: Ann
At about 700 pages this book is a commitment. Anna is a young girl in a tiny Polish village when her parents die and her family is split up; her brothers go to Austria and she is to be married. Knowing that she cannot go through with the marriage, she takes what little she owns, including her mother's silver candlesticks, and goes to America. Thus her experiences continue, and Plain details them all with a sure hand and lovely prose. The plot is never quite predictable, which keeps the pages tur ...more
Snickerdoodle
When I first read this, I was reminded of my Mother-in-law and her parents. She was born here in 1900 but her parents were immigrants. Her father, a tailor, came first and then brought over the rest of the family. One thinks of Fiddler On the Roof ... but this book moves beyond that and follows Anna to America and to what her life became here. How did she survive? What was life like here in those early days for a young girl? What did her life become? How did the family grow and evolve? Grandmoth ...more
Nelly
Geez Louise, I feel like I deserve an award for getting through this whole novel. At first, I thought this book would be like a doughnut, light and fluffy with no real substance, but still sweet and delicious. But it wasn't like that at all. It was like one of those dense and heavy power bagels with nuts and dried fruit. Not that it was a difficult read or anything. It was quite simple language and actually the earnest and sincere way in which Belva Plain told the story was one of the things I l ...more
Urszula
I've finally finished this book.... It was very well written, interesting story, but very LONG. What I liked about it, is that it had well developed characters and complex story line. It was easy to feel the hardship of Anna and her family. Immigration is never easy and for a poor Jewish girl from a small village in Poland was extra hard.

Since it was a family saga, there was heart break, deaths, love affairs, and financial successes and loses. It was great to see each generation growing and est
...more
Wendy
I recall reading this book as a young teenager and I distinctly remember being captivated by it. Fast forward a few years (ahem...decades) and I'm having a hard time seeing just what was so captivating about this story. I got about 1/2 or 2/3 through before this one landed in the "life's too short" category and I moved on to more interesting selections on my to-read list.

I'm usually a real sucker for multigenerational sagas and Evergreen has a great, if slightly overdone, premise (of course, th
...more
Natalya
While the plot is full of changes and twists and historical detail is accurate, and characters are believable enough; I found the writing style lacking. You hear what the characters say, but there is no insight into how they think, except for some "corny" (good word, Helen!) lines with exclamation marks. While the book has lots of content and action, it lacks in warmth and emotion. I was surprised that Anna quit her job in the first place, nothing indicated any emotional turmoil preceding the ev ...more
Monica
OK, I must confess I have a thing for those cheesy family sagas they sell in grocery store checkout lines. This one is pretty old -- I think it was turned into a tv miniseries with Lesley Ann Warren in the 1970's -- but somehow I never got around to reading it until now. As cheesy family sagas go, it's pretty enjoyable. The story is about a Jewish woman who immigrates to the US in the early 1900's. She rises up from poverty, marries one man and loves another, and raises a couple of children who ...more
Sarah Sammis
In 1985, NBC aired a miniseries based on Belva Plain's novel Evergreen. I know I watched it and loved it. I also know that I read most of the book and loved it but wasn't able to finish it. I can't quite remember the order of events of whether I saw the movie first or read the book first but I can tell you that the book made enough of an impression on me that I've been wanting to re-read and finally finish the book for the last twenty-three years.

After re-reading it I have come to two conclusion
...more
Lori
I really enjoyed this story. It begins pre-WWI and goes through the life of a woman from childhood through late age. The story of an immigrant to the US - ties in religion (she was raised Jewish), lots of history, and a wonderful love story with all the twists and turns you'd want. While I was so engrossed I had trouble putting the story down to do real world things, it also was a very peaceful tale. Great choice for book club, Julie!!
Becky
Similar to Rosamunde Pilcher, but not as good as Maeve Binchy, in my opinion. It's a family saga spanning the 20th century. I found the story readable enough, but at times the pace dragged and skimming became more frequent as I neared the end. I found the point of view shifts awkward. The story mostly limits its POV to Anna, the matriarch of the family. But at sporadic times, it shifts to Joseph, Iris, Theo, or Eric, and then it suddenly shifts back. I was certainly able to follow it, but I felt ...more
Tonia
Currently reading it. Good enough epic novel. Has kept me in there. I like books about olden times as you get to learn about history as well. I love reading about the way people lived back when. This story is about one womans life from being a child in Poland, orphaned because of a cholera epidemic at about 1890. Then when she was 16 made her passage to America in search of a better life.She has a family goes from absolute poverty to being upper middlerclass by sheer hardwork. Survives the Depre ...more
Jill
A lovely, historical, romantic novel. Family values prevail, as do the fact that everyone is entitled to their hopes, dreams, and secrets. I loved the interpersonal conflicts in the family, and emotional secret keeping born out of love and respect. A tad long, I thought it could have been wrapped up 100 pages earlier.
Robin
Joining goodreads.com has made me think about my first time. No, not that. My first "real book". Believe it or not it was Evergreen. Which probably explains quite a bit, doesn't it?
I really should not have been reading this book in fourth grade. I can easily draw the analogy of boys hiding their dad's Playboy magazines.
My elementary school friend, Karen Murray gave it to me after she was finished with it.
I am not kidding when I tell you I hid this book from my parents and read it cover to cover
...more
Karen Hajdinyak
Amazing story. Love Belva Plain, even though her writing style is very old fashioned. This is one of the best books I've ever read, and I felt as if I knew all the characters personally. Very much a story of triumph and tragedy. Unforgettable.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Immigrants (Lavette Family, #1)
  • A Woman of Substance (Emma Harte Saga #1)
  • Cashelmara
  • Captains and the Kings
  • Beulah Land,
  • Low Country
  • Rich Man, Poor Man
  • Scruples
  • Independence! (Wagons West, #1)
  • Queenie
  • Deceptions
  • The Bastard (Kent Family Chronicles, #1)
  • And Ladies of the Club
  • Coming Home
  • Centennial
  • Csardas
  • Once Is Not Enough
10209
Belva Plain was a best-selling American author of mainstream women's fiction.

More about Belva Plain...
Homecoming Blessings Tapestry Random Winds Whispers

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »