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The Woodsman's Daughter

2.96  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Hailed as “vivid and unforgettable” by the New York Times Book Review, Gwyn Hyman Rubio’s Icy Sparks dazzled readers—including Oprah—and became an acclaimed bestseller. Now Rubio offers another sweeping example of Southern storytelling at its finest with The Woodsman’s Daughter. Set in post–Civil War southern Georgia, this is the saga of Dalia Miller, a headstrong beauty w ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 2005)
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Krista Liebrum
Aug 02, 2011 Krista Liebrum rated it did not like it
Depressing. Interesting, not necessarily good, but really depressing. I read it for the sake of reading it. The plot was slow and dropped off. There really wasn't a consistent flow into the 'new century' described in the book and the characters were stagnant in personality.

Dalia's character annoyed me, she was needy, greedy, cold and plotted against other characters too often. She was the villain in a book about her. She was the worst main character I have seen in a while.

The best point of view
May 04, 2010 Amy rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I listened to this book on c.d. By the 2nd chapter or so I was totally hooked and disturbed. I listened to the whole thing despite the urges to turn it off and deliver it back to the library directly. I needed something for my then commute of about an hour and a half each way from school to home. I kept thinking that it had to get better. Despite my thought, every time it got the least bit better it plunged into more terribleness. I would not recommend this book to anyone. In fact, I wish I coul ...more
Laura Hoyler
Apr 12, 2017 Laura Hoyler rated it it was ok
I tried to read this, I really did. I got about half way through and kept looking at the pile of books I still want to read, and couldn't waste another day on this one!
Mar 19, 2009 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A thoroughly engrossing novel set in Southern Georgia in the late nineteenth-century, Ms. Rubio delivers a complex and captivating saga. With well-drawn characters, tragic events and drama, Ms. Rubio shows a deep understanding of the power, conflicts and conditions that threaten our lives as women and men.

Monroe Miller is a self-made turpentine farmer who owns thousands of acres of pine woods which he refers to as 'Miller Town.' With great respect for Monroe and living on his land, his workers t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2009 Petra rated it really liked it
Well, as a mum, this was a hard book to continue reading. At times I wanted to shake and slap some of the characters! I suppose that is a good indicator of how well I was able to immerse myself in the story and characters.
But it was painful and heart breaking at times.

I can't say much more without going into details, but if you think you won't read it, I can let you know some more details :-)
Sep 23, 2009 Stephanie rated it did not like it
really whiny story and i had to force myself to keep reading. I really didn't like the attitude of the whole book toward marriage and the relationships between men and women. It was just bitter and sad and I feel bad for anyone who agrees with that view. I guess I'm just really fortunate to have a healthy relationship with my husband full of communication and caring.
Kathleen McRae
Jul 23, 2011 Kathleen McRae rated it it was ok
This book had a good storyline behind it but the writing wasn't consistent.It would grab your interest then lose it . I think it kept dropping the storyline so it was difficult to keep focused .It did have a glimpse into societal values in that time period.
Jul 30, 2011 Catherine rated it did not like it
I randomly picked this up at the library, thought it would be an interesting time period to read about, but it was so boring I finally gave up. I hate to not finish books, but I couldn't even make it halfway through. I haven't disliked a book this much in a long time.
Jul 06, 2007 Roseanne rated it liked it
This was an interesting book. . .the writing is great, but I'm still undecided about whether I liked the story or not. It was definitely a compelling read. I found it difficult to pull myself away.
Feb 16, 2012 Alphawoman rated it liked it
sneaked a peek at the reviews on Amazon before adding this book to my list of 2008 reads. First of all, I found this book on the shelves of "R's" at the downtown Main branch held up as a favorite of the staff...staff pick. Happily I grabbed it because I loved "Icy Sparks" and I know that GHR lives in my hometown (which is also made a minor role in the book as a small town that the wife of the son hails from).

In my defense, I have been reading The Book Club in between the two listed books. I did
Jan 26, 2013 Sallee rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern-fiction
This is evidently one of those books that you either like or hate. I like southern fiction and this book I felt was the epitome of southern fiction. Dalia grows up with a father who is always gone to the pine forrests where he has a turpentine business. His wife feels he is uncouth and common as he returns smelly and filty. She is addicted to Laudanum. Dalia's younger sister, Nellie was born blind. This is because Mr. Miller contracted syphlis from a prostitute when his wife, pregnant with Dalia ...more
Oct 22, 2007 Sandy rated it really liked it
I loved Icy Sparks, so this one caught my eye on the bargain book's the author's second novel. :o)

I wasn't sure about it at first, but the characters were so rich and human that I couldn't stop reading. One thing I really liked about the story is that no one was perfect...not in character, action, or appearance...just like all of us.

It's the story of Dalia, a young girl then woman whose experiences with her father, mother and sister in childhood shape who she is and the choices she m
Nov 16, 2016 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I did not really use the MP3 but I like to have the picture of the actual one I listened to on my page so I can recall it if I want to....
Now, having confessed, I think the book was sometimes long winded, but in the end, the story was interesting and all 16 discs were probably necessary. The main character, Dahlia, had a few hard breaks in her life but more so I would call her selfish and self centered. Conniving and spoiled come to mind as well. Several things that happen as she grows th
Mar 07, 2014 Lamadia rated it it was ok
This book was a slog to get through. It started out extremely slow and was in desperate need of a plot. As it went on, I went from disliking the main character, to hating her and wanting to slap her. She behaves completely irrationally and doesn't take any responsibility for her actions. She's a despicable person and a terrible mother. If the first part was supposed to show us why she acts so terribly as an adult, it's not sufficient. I couldn't even feel sorry for her at the end when so much go ...more
Nov 19, 2008 Leslie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
I'm undecided about this one. Had some beautifully descriptive writing and some flawed, interested, well-fleshed-out characters, but something about it still left me a little cold. Maybe it was that all the flawed and realistically developed characters were pretty unlikeable. The main character, Dalia, was completely unsympathetic to me after she became a mother. The ending was supposed to provide her with some redemption, but I didn't really feel it. On the whole it was an interesting and proba ...more
Trish Clifford
Jun 15, 2008 Trish Clifford rated it really liked it
I had fallen in love with "Icy Sparks" so was pleased to find another book by her....This one was interesting in that no single character was completely sympathetic or completely unsympathetic. There were a series of missed connections, missed opportunities to communicate and clarify. Ultimately, I found my sympathies lying mostly with "the Woodsman" himself, despite the whole "sins of the fathers" thing.
The vivid descriptions of the outdoor scenes were incredible. I could smell the sting of the
Nov 26, 2016 Kathy rated it did not like it
I made it to page 250, and then said "I can't do this any more." This was some poor imitation of "Gone With The Wind" meets "Main Street." (I realize that this book is set post-Civil War, but the "plantation" feel is very much there.) There are so many authors who have done it better. I remember liking Icy Sparks so I was very hopeful about this book. What a disappointment! There are some descriptive passages about the woods that are well done, but that's not enough to rescue this book from bein ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Pam rated it really liked it
Well-written with colorful, interesting characters. They are at once lovable and mind-mindbogglingly inept at having healthy relationships of any kind. The descriptions of the logging towns and of restoration-era Georgia are clear and take the reader to those times and places. It is not a book about the South rising again, neither is it about the destruction of that region and its heritage. I found myself really, really hoping for the best for each character. The entire cast is, however, a tragi ...more
Feb 03, 2013 Deb rated it liked it
The first 40 or 50 pages were so dull... I had such a hard time getting interested. But then I was stuck on a long bus trip with a school field trip ... So I was forced to read it. Predictable. I won' t give away the story, but it was as if the author had some good ideas, not necessarily related, and wanted to use them in this book. Why all the food descriptions? Why was everyone so hot all the time? I get it, it,s the south in you need to constantly be describing everyone,s sweat? ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Kathleen rated it did not like it
I just couldn't finish it. I didn't get any plot. The characters were really ,really interesting. A mother who mutters crazy things under her breath, a father who literally creates his own town just to be away from his real home, a sweet blind daughter who really isn't so sweet. I really wanted to keep reading because I found them all so interesting, but I just couldn't find a plot. I could only read about 80 pages - I hope it didn't get really good at page 90.
Mar 27, 2016 Gisele rated it liked it
If it were possible, I would have rated this book 2.5 stars and then only because of the ending. Not badly written, this novel failed to reach me. I have yet to read a book where I really disliked the protagonist as much, as well as the majority of the characters, most of which were cold and self-serving. A dark and depressing story : (
Mar 08, 2013 Judy rated it liked it
Post Civil War southern Georgia, turpentine farming, and "a family rocked by illness, addiction and bitter rivalry". The past lays its imprint across generations. Beautiful depiction of nature's beauty and a slice of Southern life.
the book has--for me one fatal flaw--the author has nightingales singing in Mississippi. There are NO NIGHTINGALES in the Americas, so, obviously, there are none in Mississippi. An error like that destroys the author's reliability for me. I will not read another book by this author.
Jan 15, 2011 Sherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gwyn Rubio's tale is gripping in it's depiction of a family caught in the throws of syphilis. The effects of the deadly nightmarish disease creates terror both thrilling and in the end heroic. A great read.
Pamela Pickering
Apr 03, 2008 Pamela Pickering rated it liked it
Recommends it for: women
It's been a while since I've read this book so I'm doubtful my review will be very helpful. I can say that I usually remember quite a bit about the books I read and this one seems to not be memorable. Not a good thing but it is not standing out as one I intensely disliked either.
Jul 10, 2009 Lori rated it did not like it
I couldn't even make it through two chapters before I gave up on it. I found it bogged down in uninteresting details and I thought the characters were boring too.
Jul 24, 2009 Lisa added it
I gave up on this book. It was not keeping me interested.
Jul 07, 2008 Luanne rated it really liked it
Recommended to Luanne by: Geneil Suzuki
I wasn't ever quite sure where this book was going, but it kept my interest enough to want to keep reading, to find out!
Feb 17, 2013 Amber rated it did not like it
I was so excited to read this because it is set near where I grew up. It was such a disappointment.
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Author Gynn Hyman Rubio 1 3 Mar 22, 2013 08:12PM  
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Gwyn Hyman Rubio (born August 7, 1949 in Macon, Georgia) is an American author, best known for her novel Icy Sparks.

Rubio graduated from Florida State University in 1971 with a degree in English. She then joined the Peace Corps and spent several years working as a teacher in Costa Rica. After returning to the U.S. and settling in Kentucky she became interested in writing, ultimately receiving a Ma
More about Gwyn Hyman Rubio...

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