Like some other reviewers, I found the structure of the book awkward. The story flips between the real story of John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove, a BoLike some other reviewers, I found the structure of the book awkward. The story flips between the real story of John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove, a Bonnie & Clyde story of outlaws in the early 1900s in Florida, and the fictional story of another John Ashley and his girlfriend, Laura. The story of the real outlaw is a very sympathetic portrayal of good man, John Ashley, who is forced into life as bank robber and outlaw which doesn't seem supported in history although he was a hero to the independent Florida Crackers. His great love was Laura Upthegrove who left her husband and two small children for her childhood sweetheart, John Ashley.
The current story is of another John Ashley, a police officer, who is protecting a witness, Laura who also happens to be a beautiful model. John is a decorated officer who will not turn a blind eye to the widespread corruption of the local police and sheriff offices. Set up by his boss, he is framed and chased around Florida until he and his relatives (his gang) are forced into the outlaw life.
The question is whether history is written into people's bones or if they can break out of the pattern. This might fit if the second Laura and John were descendants of the first, but they aren't. The book was interesting, but at times one of the two stories would cover a number of chapters making it hard to remember the other story....more
This book was great! Even more so because it is based on facts. Around the turn of the 20th century, eugenics was studied and practiced to eliminate "This book was great! Even more so because it is based on facts. Around the turn of the 20th century, eugenics was studied and practiced to eliminate "undesirables" from passing on traits that were costly to societies. These included mental illness, retardation and epilepsy. It's hard to believe the State of North Carolina actually practiced this after the world learned of Hitler's diabolical plans and especially that the state let social workers and other lay people decide who was to be sterilized.
This is the story of a young and naive young woman who becomes a social worker and gets involved with a family whose social problems make them candidates for this kind of intervention. When she realizes what is expected of her, she finds that she can not follow the orders she is give. ...more
Well, I won't rate this as low as some people, but I do think it could have been a lot better. I kept thinking of Bridget Jones while I was reading iWell, I won't rate this as low as some people, but I do think it could have been a lot better. I kept thinking of Bridget Jones while I was reading it and then trying to pull myself back into the 1800's. Jane was given a treat/cure-all by her ancient relative and she was to go to this 3 week Jane Austen world where Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett still reigned. the modern Jane was holding ever male on her radar to the Darcy standard and found them lacking. This was a trip to dissuade her from this faulty thinking and turn her to some more realistic marital prospects.
Jane becomes immersed in Austenland, but she finds it not exactly to her liking. She is more modern than she thinks and she vacillates back and forth. This bothered me a lot because it wasn't very skillfully done. The incident with the gardener is the first problem to show up. It happens so quickly that the reader has to wonder if Jane even wanted the life of a Jane Austen heroine. If she was looking for the long courtship that is part and parcel with this life, she didn't act like it.
From there it struggles on. The whole idea of an Austenland was interesting and for that reason, I continued to read the book. Jane wasn't considered an A+ client because she didn't have the money to keep coming back year after year, so she was relegated to the end of the queue into the dining room, while a return client who was a 50 year old Dolly Parton was showered with the full treatment....more