Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sail Upon the Land” as Want to Read:
Sail Upon the Land
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sail Upon the Land

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  440 ratings  ·  71 reviews
The mysterious death of a young mother damages the precious, protective bonds of family love.

What happens when two fractured families collide in the dynamic social landscape of the last eighty years?

Sarah: Is the courage she displays during WWII enough to carry her through a long life of love and loss?

Melissa: Living in her own fairy tale, will she find the strength she
Paperback, 404 pages
Published December 1st 2014 by Keyes Ink
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 Sail Upon the Land, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sail Upon the Land

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  440 ratings  ·  71 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sail Upon the Land
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Sail Upon the Land is an emotionally charged multi-generational saga spanning 80 years.

It tells the story of 4 women, the traumas that they face, the decisions they make. It examines the bonds and the rifts between mothers and daughters and details the intricate nature of the relationship.

But let me assure you that this is no light and fluffy chic lit. Neither could it be classed as feminist. It is a beautifully written book of brutal honesty. Author Josa Young writes with a raw passion that a
Taylor Noel
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sail Upon the Land follows the female lineage of a family through rotating narratives that leave the reader spellbound. I was utterly captivated by Josa Young's ability to create so many powerful, familiar, heart-wrenching characters that leached onto my heart. The stories of these mothers and daughters - Sarah, Melissa, Dawson, and Letta - are so important and speak to how hard being a woman in all time periods can be and how difficult some decisions can be. It spoke to serious taboo issues of ...more
Jane Pepler
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book, with some great writing about four generations of women and how they live their lives in the twentieth century. The book flows so well and is compulsive reading. I really identified with all the characters and felt passionately about what happened to them. The writing was gritty and real, particularly the parts concerned with birth and motherhood and women's vulnerabilities at these important times in their lives. The subject matter covered in this book is wide and rang ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sail Upon the Land tells of four generations of driven women who each face a life-changing decision over the course of an eighty-year time frame, and its lively story of different disasters and accompanying choices succeeds in drawing readers into a sweeping saga replete with struggles for survival.

Despite being warned by others who perceive Ronny for his true shallowness and danger, Damson falls into his arms - and into a mess… because it's India, where women have no ability to call rape and
Jo Barton
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sail upon the Land is a multi generational family saga which, with great perception and insight, spans over eighty years and allows the stories of four very different women to be heard. From crumbling stately mansions in middle England, to the neglected splendour of an abandoned Indian hill station, a story of a family in turmoil starts to unfold. And, as the all too complex relationship between mothers and their daughters is opened up to scrutiny, it shows just how tragically the bonds of mothe ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is the first book I have read by Josa Young and I certainly look forward to reading more.

Sail Upon The Land is a story that spans over 80 years following four generations of women.

The author has done a wonderful job with this book, it is beautifully written and the descriptions of some scenes make the reader feel that they are almost part of the story.

Sarah, Melissa, Damson and Mellita are women who most readers will be able to identify with. My favourite characters were Sarah and Damson as
Victoria Goldman
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sail Upon the Land follows four women through the generations, over a period of 80 years. Josa Young carefully weaves in stories of love, hate and tragedy, and how these shape the lives of each generation. She addresses the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, as well as issues such as rape, abortion, birth defects, mental illness and abandonment.

The book is written with vivid descriptions of each tim
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not very good at reviews. I think that someone smarter than me has already written a summary so no one needs to read another. I'll say that I really enjoyed this book. The story of 3 women, 3 mothers, and their experience with men and social expectations and maternity. Not everyone is cut out to be a parent. Not everyone 'bounces back'. Not everyone responds well to the hormones that come and go. I really liked Damson and her struggles and conflicts. I felt terrible that she kept herself so ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review will contain SPOILERS after the first few overview paragraphs. I'm not hiding the entire review as I want my overview to be read, but I will have a break and clearly mark the beginning of the spoilers :D


I was graced with the chance to read this for free by the author. It's my first free/first reads type of book, and I was really worried going into it that it would be some flippant fluffy junk and I would have to give a bad review. The first bit, with Sarah and the war and he
Manuela Melo
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: woman
I should say I bought this book because it was in sale, and it seemed to talk about women. I am very interested in literature written by women telling women stories because we were somehow erased from history and as a feminist, I encourage myself to read women, more and more.

I started reading this book because it was in my kindle and I had no internet connection to buy any other books. I was in a plane. The first 20% I didn't like. I don't know if it was because it's historical fiction, or beca
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Delightfully English! Skillfully written with impressive attention to detail. The author seems to have extensive knowledge of history and period detail, fashion, English social classes and society, as well as Indian culture. She also possesses an exceptional ability to realistically yet sensitively portray widely variable mothering experiences.

It's hard to say too much about the story or characters without giving too many spoilers, but I'll try: Basically, it's a multigenerational saga that spa
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I was kindly gifted “Sail upon the Land” for review by the author and can honestly say that this book was sublime. From the characters to the plot and all that’s in between as each element was crafted with such fine detail, inevitably making the book come to life.

Josa Young makes you feel like a fly on the wall as you observe a family of 4 generations of women. It’s almost as if you’re witnessing the family history play out right before your eyes. As the book travels back and forth in time, You
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbc-recommends, 2015
Really enjoyed this book which covered four generations of the same family. If I had any complaints I think there could have been more depth to the other 3 women as it really was Damson's story. I also found the later chapters to be written in a different style (yes, I know there were different voices) but it just seemed so different from the others, with a smattering of humour thrown in. That's not to say I didn't like it but jarred slightly with the earlier more uptight characters (perhaps tha ...more
J. A.  Lewis
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After reading six books in a row that were mediocre at best, I came upon this gem. Starting in 1938, this story spans across 4 generations of women in the same family. We aren't bombarded with every detail about these women, but their story is told in pieces of their youth and then adult lives. Each one has some difficulty with their mother/daughter relationship. Ms. Young's writing is rich in detail. While you aren't shown everything that happened to each of these women, you know them despite o ...more
Clare Flynn
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alli-indies
As soon as I started reading Sail Upon the Land I was hooked. Josa Young has an ability to draw the reader into the story and keep you there. The writing seems effortless and is engaging and vivid.

The book tells the tale of several generations of one family through its women and is a fascinating study of the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. Ranging from the 1930s to the present day, Young creates a vivid and memorable narrative. What struck me most was how she managed to dea
Teena Stewart
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The prologue of this book starts in India with the rape of Damson a sheltered young woman. From there it takes us back to the 1930's and traces forward through four generations of English women ending with Damson. The superb writing and the sensitive treatment of real life circumstances such as depression, being born with physical challenges, pregnancies out of wedlock and even inheriting property and title with no funds for upkeep all make this story intriguing. I think Ms. Young has done a sup ...more
Kathe Coleman
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sail Upon the Land by Josa Young
Sail Upon the Land is a multi-generational family saga spanning 80 years and portrays the story of four women and the choices they make that affect their lives forever. It is about complex relationships between mothers and daughters and is full of drama, pain, suffering, steadfastness and ultimately redemption. I absolutely loved this book and for $.93 (US and India) you can’t go wrong. I did not want to put it down and read it in one setting all 400 pages.
Irene MacFarland
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relationships intricately woven over time

This novel succeeds in telling a family history with intelligence, strength, and compassion across generations, despite expectations, and in the faces of various fears. The voice of each chapter provides depth and clarity with use of a rich vocabulary which also defines aspects of daily life and times pertinent to each particular generation.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It will undoubtedly appeal predominantly to women, but it is far too good to be clumped in with the usual frothy, frivolous chick-lit. It's a really enjoyable read, which often had me wanting to reach into the book to give the characters a much-needed hug !

full review on my blog : http://madhousefamilyreviews.blogspot...
Linda Hall
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
I loved this book! Josh Young is a remarkable writer and I found that I got so involved with each character as I read about their lives, that I didn't want to let them go and move onto the next chapter. The way she wove them all together at the end was superb. I will look for more of her work. A high recommend.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is definitely one of the better free books I've gotten off BookBub. (I do find that historical/multi-era fiction tends to be a pretty good choice from that service.) The multi-generational story is engaging and unusual, and the characters are complex. I don't want to give away anything about the plot, so I'll just leave it at that.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This covers four generations of women from WWII to the present time. You don't really know where it's going until the last part of the book where everything comes together. It takes place in India and England. It is well written and touches on post partum psychosis which is still too often missed. Highly recommended.
Pamela Shaffer
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read

The layers of this novel were well thought out and complex. There was raw emotion, real life characters, and an excellent glimpse into the unfolding story of generations and life. As a mother I could truly relate to the characters experiences, and rode the waves of pleasure and pain love and loss along with them. This was a beautifully written book.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I am a HUGE sucker for multigenerational novels (who doesn't want to find out what happens to a character they grow to love?) so that was what initially drew me in. But I really felt like I got to know the characters- especially Damson who I loved. I felt like the story was intriguing without feeling forced or fake.

Dana Proffet
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't sure at the beginning but...

The beginning of this book almost made me quit. But I kept on and by the end was glad I did. It turned out to be a very touching story about several generations of a family and how one Churchill ultimately affect everyone whether they mean too or not.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This novel spans 4 generations of an English family (with the focus on women) and 80 years of history. We start and end in the 21st Century with Damson, and initially I wondered where she had gone and what she had to do with the narrative. However, all is skillfully woven together by the end. Beautifully descriptive, relaying the atmosphere and emotions of all the historic periods. Well done!
DonnaJo Pallini
Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an enjoyable book. I was captivated by how much the author described the scenes and each time period. I was a little overwhelmed by all the British terms and nuances but would definitely recommend this book.
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
A wonderful tale about four generations of women who all face their own trials and tribulations along the way. Their stories draw you into their lives, their loves and the hardships they face throughout their lives.
It is beautifully written and a pleasure to read.
Sandra Mullett
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sail upon the land

Well written easy to read even with all the characters being interwoven. When you forgot something of someone it was then mentioned again and the oh yes moment. Would recommend this book

Writing 2
Story line 3
Characters 2
Emotional impact 2

Overall rating 2.25
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Genealogy
  • Boys for Men
  • After the Fall
  • The First Girl Child
  • Paper Wife
  • Everything My Mother Taught Me
  • Chalkhill Blue
  • Girl in the Rearview Mirror
  • All That Ails You: The Adventures of a Canine Caregiver
  • The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl #6)
  • Dawn's Prelude (Song of Alaska, #1)
  • Roanoke: The Lost Colony (Keepers of the Ring, #1)
  • Ginger Gold Mysteries: Murder on the SS Rosa / Murder at Hartigan House / Murder at Bray Manor
  • Flash
  • Stolen Son
  • The Wish Collector
  • Holly Freakin' Hughes
See similar books…
From July 2018 I've returned to my maiden name, and will be known for all purposes, including future publication, as Josa Keyes.

Born in the depths of the country, surrounded by sheep, cherries and hops, I was brought up rather haphazardly as the fourth of five children.

For everyone's benefit, except possibly mine, I was sent to boarding school at seven. I found I could read after all and disappear

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
25 likes · 15 comments
“Damson was also old enough to know that you can never rely on other people to act as you would in almost any circumstance.” 1 likes
“Built at a time when servants had servants who had servants, there'd been a whole thriving community in the great house to wait upon the tiny family perched on top like a hut on a mountain.” 0 likes
More quotes…