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O Beulah Land

(Beulah Quintet #2)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  8 reviews
O Beulah Land, the second volume of The Beulah Quintet-- Mary Lee Settle's unforgettable generational saga about the roots of American culture, class, and identity and the meaning of freedom--is a land-hungry story. It follows the odyssey of Johnny Church's descendants as they leave England in search of freedom and land. One of those descendants, Jonathan Lacey, settles i ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by University of South Carolina Press (first published June 12th 1981)
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Vel Veeter
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
So imagine the movie The VVitch taking place about a 100 years later, and in western Virginia/border of Ohio territory instead. There’s still lots of fear and anxiety but there’s no witch. Not even a little witch.

This novel comes from a collection of novels by a novelist most (including me until about a year or so ago) from West Virginis named Mary Lee Settle. One of those novelists who spends her entire career at a university, even wins some awards, but maybe doesn’t have the cultural impact of
Jim Grimsley
Feb 04, 2021 rated it liked it
This is the first-written book of Settle's quintet about American identity and I think it is an impressive piece of writing in many ways, especially in the authority with which it creates the world. It is easy to forget what that notion of a more savage time entails. The world of colonial Virginia in the 18th century was made up of so much violence, the struggle of the law to maintain its authority, and the almost impossible effort of people to make a daily life composed of some comfort and love ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: avoid
The truth is that I did not read the whole book. I did not even read most of it.

I read the first book in the Beulah Quintet, Prisons, first. A member of my Significant Other's family picked up a used copy of it and gave it to me in a book exchange; I don't remember what book I gave her. It took me most of a year to get around to reading it, but once I started it I ended up getting completely absorbed in what turned out to be an amazing piece of literature. I decided I needed to read the rest of
Susan Beecher
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very fine and beautifully written novel about 1760s through 1770s America prior to the Revolutionary War. Several of the main characters were English who were convicted of minor crimes and sent to the colonies as punishment. Highly recommend this book.
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I first encountered O BEULAH LAND when my history professor at U.Va., Stephen Innes, assigned it for his Colonial America class. It was the only piece of fiction he assigned, and he said he did so because it illustrated ways of living and thinking and striving in colonial Virginia better than many non-fiction works. He was absolutely right.

I read a great deal of historical fiction, and O BEULAH LAND is one of the best examples of immersing readers fully in another time and place. Settle makes th
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was one of those books that I kept checking pages numbers to see how many more before the end of the chapter, the end of the part and the end of the book. This is a dead giveaway for a book I am not enjoying all that much. I was not able to connect with any of the characters, but I did like the setting and the descriptions of life in that time.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book begins with a scene, so powerful -- a woman 'crawling' east over the Appalachias -- that it brought me back to the series after a decades-long hiatus. Now I am reading the rest of the series and find these books among the best historical novels ever written. ...more
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Graduate of Sweet Briar College. Winner of the National Book Award in 1978 for Blood Tie.

Other books in the series

Beulah Quintet (5 books)
  • Prisons (Beulah Quintet #1)
  • Know Nothing (Beulah Quintet #3)
  • Scapegoat
  • The Killing Ground

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