This is a wonderful book, especially for genealogist. The author takes the first four waves of immigration to America: The Virginians, the Puritans, t...moreThis is a wonderful book, especially for genealogist. The author takes the first four waves of immigration to America: The Virginians, the Puritans, the Quakers and the Scots-Irish. For each group, he gives information on what part of England they came from, their motivation their characteristics, religion, habits, beliefs, influences, and any other attributes they had. He then discusses the place where they settled, the relationship they had with the people they found here and other factors such as the climate and quality of the site they first landed.
Briefly, the Virginians were speculators and adventurers, the Puritans were austere and disciplined looking for a place to worship in peace. The Quakers sought the same freedom, but were a completely different type of religious group. Finally, the Scots-Irish were independent Highlanders from the borderlands between Scotland and England and were fiercely independent, stubborn, proud and often a law unto themselves.
These are the people who came to America and became its first citizens. They left their mark on the people who descended from them and influenced the course of events that led to the United States of America.
There is so much information here that is vital to genealogists. It is possible to look at an ancestor and find the year they came to America, the area they settled and their naming patterns and determine which of these four groups they probably belonged to. In my case, I can't find the place my Munn ancestors came from, but they came at a time when the Scots-Irish were immigrating, they have sandy reddish hair and ruddish complexion, they are fierce stubborn people with a number of disowned children and feuds, sometimes violent tempers and they settled first in the Appalachian Mountains. I feel safe in believing that they came from the borderlands especially since Andrew is a favorite given name. When I looked at that area, I found that there were records of Munns. I still don't know exactly where they came from, but the preponderance of evidence tells me that they were Scots-Irish.(less)
This is a fascinating series about a fascinating subject. The series takes place in the opera world of Venice in 1731. The opera in Venice is somethin...moreThis is a fascinating series about a fascinating subject. The series takes place in the opera world of Venice in 1731. The opera in Venice is something like football season. Wealthy patrons purchase boxes and attend sometimes daily to see and be seen, but even the not so wealthy attend as devotedly. Tito Amato is a "castrati" and a darling of the opera. As a child, he had an exceptional voice and so his father had him castrated to preserve it and he began his opera training. That in itself is interesting, but when you add to it, a murder and a mystery the book is captivating. (less)
I have always been interested in the Bubonic Plague. There was more than one occurrence, but this deals with the most severe and far reaching one in 1...moreI have always been interested in the Bubonic Plague. There was more than one occurrence, but this deals with the most severe and far reaching one in 1349. Alyse Elsey lost almost everyone she knew; her husband and children, her sisters and her best friend. The only survivor was her best friend's toddler son, Harold. She feels that she has to take Harold to his uncle, a monk in Norwich. The people she meets and the situations she runs into on the journey give a picture of the lives of the survivors. All over England there was chaos and lawlessness. All the usual structure, government, familial attachments, marketing and day to day existence of their lives were permanently changed. In many villages, less than one tenth of the people were left, and the cities were worse.
Alyse was a gifted healer and as she settles in Norwich, her talents are sorely needed. At first, she is reluctant to become close to anyone because her grief is too great and she did not think she could bear to love people again only to have them snatched away from her. However, she does meet John and his healer mother, who take her and Harold in when was left dying a long the road. How these people put their lives together is a fascinating story.(less)
This was a beautiful book. It takes place in Seattle and is the story of Japanese Americans during WWII and Chinese Americans. It explores the foreign...moreThis was a beautiful book. It takes place in Seattle and is the story of Japanese Americans during WWII and Chinese Americans. It explores the foreign culture and the relationships between generations. Most of all it is a touching love story. I know there are some editorial mistakes, but I don't think they detract from the book.(less)
This was an extremely interesting book. I knew there were problems in China with the tender imbalance in China, but I had no idea that people kidnap g...moreThis was an extremely interesting book. I knew there were problems in China with the tender imbalance in China, but I had no idea that people kidnap girls for marriage.
Chai and Josi, both 14, were kidnapped from their home and taken to a rural fishing village. Chai was intended as a bride for the bullying older son of the family and Josi, crippled from birth, was taken to insure that her best friend, Chai, would come with her.
Chai was a courageous and resilient young girl who was beloved, especially, by her father who never ceased to search for her. Unfortunately the police were not very diligent in searching for kidnapped girls and often were a part of the kidnapping rings. Chai's father, however, would not give up and he pestered to police constantly.
Life on the houseboat was dreadful and Chai and Josi were treated as little more than slaves. They were overworked and underfed, but Chai still remained spunky and was always looking for a way to escape. When their foster mother had a baby girl with a cleft palette, the father demands that the midwife come and take the baby and drown it. Chai learns that other baby girls have been born to the family and they also were disposed of. Chai finds away to get care for the baby in a local mission orphanage.(less)