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A Land Remembered

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  7,669 ratings  ·  1,050 reviews
A Land Remembered has been ranked #1 Best Florida Book eight times in annual polls conducted by Florida Monthly Magazine.

In this best-selling novel, Patrick Smith tells the story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons. The story o
Paperback, 403 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Pineapple Press (first published 1984)
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Average rating 4.42  · 
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 ·  7,669 ratings  ·  1,050 reviews

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Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A memorable and heartbreaking book full of perseverance and fortitude.

Tobias MacIvey moved from the overworked land of Georgia to the Florida wilderness in 1858. He was intent on building a house and carving out a better life with his wife Emma and their son Zechariah. A Land Remembered is the story of three generations of the MacIvey family in Florida, exhibiting the perseverance of pioneers as they battle a harsh and unforgiving environment. The MacIvey’s fight with bears, mosquitoes,
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Great concept, poorly executed. I stuck with it for the natural history, and don't regret the read, but I would recommend this book to a creative writing class as a shining example of poor character development and unnatural dialog. The book follows the trials of three generations of a family, as they wrestle the elements and slowly emerge from a hand-to-mouth existence to become wealthy but still simple rancher/farmers. In three generations, there was not a single conflict among any of the char ...more
Erin Heston
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really didn't want to read this book. A heart-rending account of a family's struggle to settle north and central Florida? Sigh. And I'm one of the few native Floridians (third generation, I should say)! But I finally cnsented and am so glad I did. The characters and their stories are engaging from the start. With vivid imagery and great respect for all our state once was, The author spins a historical tale of generations of settlers and entrepreneurs. I was surpised how quickly I finished it. ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I used to drive down the east coast to go to school in Miami, I would often arrive at the border as it was getting dark. From the first, I was almost in awe of what the land looked like against the light of civilization, a kind of primitive place where one might expect certain dinosaurs to live. I was more surprised when I discovered that the lower third of the state was entirely composed of a swamp. I was less surprised when over the years I heard of various plans to drain parts of the swa ...more
Sep 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this book 4 stars, but I'm being a bit generous. It was almost worthy of 5 stars in places, but it was uneven. Especially the end was rushed, unfortunately. I'm really glad I read it though. If you liked John Jakes's Bicentenial series, this is similar, but follows 3 generations of a family across one century in Florida from the Civil War to the 1960's.

It's an excellent look at Florida in the latter half of the 19th century & at some of the pioneers who settled there, what they lived
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: florida
Old Florida - a land teeming with wildlife, birds, flora, and fauna that has now disappeared or diminished. A place where wild cattle and hogs, alligators, and snakes roamed and egrets, herons, ibises, whooping cranes, coots, and cormorants swooped over hammocks, cypresses, sawgrass, hardwood trees, cabbage palms, wild orchids, mashes, and the sea of grass. Three generations of the MacIveys built an empire. In 1863, Tobias MacIvey barely made a living farming his dirt poor homestead to support h ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical-novel
Not one of the world's great novels. But A Land Remembered deserves all those five stars for its warm, compelling, almost operatic story of generations who shaped Florida.

It begins before the Civil War, when Tobias and Emma MacIvey journey into Florida wilderness to begin a better life than they were able to carve out in Georgia. Young, scrappy, and barely literate, they become farmers, cattle-gatherers (the cattle were descendants of those brought over by the Spaniards centuries before), cattle
Cindy Rollins
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, 2019
I have determined this year to get through a few books that have been on my TBR list for far too long. This book is one of them. Having grown up in Central Florida I often enjoy returning there in books. This book took place in many places I could picture and my own hometown of Deland has an annual Cracker Day. Turns out Crackers are so-called because they were cattle handlers who cracked their whips. I somehow missed that but it makes sense when I think about the sandy horse country outside of ...more
Janice Dyck
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I don't give many books a 5-star rating, only those that I think are unique in their genre and really add something to my ability to understand, to feel or to think. A Land Remembered is a simple story really. It's the kind of book to keep on the night stand and pick up and put down one chapter at a time, for each chapter is a separate story, really, summing up one phase in the development of the land we now know as Florida. From pre-civil war times to modern-day South Beach, it's all there--a s ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Eeeeehhhhhh a multigenerational soap opera wrapped in the guise of historical fiction from the ever riveting perspective of white dudes.
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Winding back the clock to a past era, Patrick D. Smith writes his novel “A Land Remembered.” Before the Civil War’s outbreak, the MacIvey family flees to Florida in hopes to find a better life. In his historically accurate depiction, Smith illustrates the Florida that once was. Before condo’s, before Disney world, before I-95, and air conditioning; Florida rested as a barren extension to the North American continent. Smith captures Florida’s roots by taking his readers on a journey with fictiona ...more
Feb 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, Floridians
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cindy Marsch
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reviews
I'm choosing four stars mostly because of the personal/family interest. My great grandparents (two sets) were in North and South Florida, respectively, and two grandmothers grew up in those areas, plus one grandfather as a teen working his uncle's cattle operation in the Miami area, and our family has had strong roots throughout the state all my life, and I love the landscapes of "old Florida." The writing quality and the story are more of a three-star effort, but I highly recommend this book to ...more
JG (Introverted Reader)
Jun 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to JG (Introverted Reader) by: My mother-in-law
Three generations of MacIvey men struggle to survive and thrive in the Florida wilderness among disasters of both the natural and man-made kind.

My mother-in-law insisted that I read this, basically because "it's so interesting to read about the history of the area" where she lives. She lives in Naples, FL, and all I know about the area is her neighborhood. We never get out and see anything when we visit, so that wasn't much of a recommendation for me. But being the meek daughter-in-law that I am
Jun 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Several have praised this book. They believe it is an excellent historical novel set in mid-19th and earl 20th century Florida. Granted, Florida's history is broad and complex but the history related here is narrow. It is almost entirely focused on the mid-Florida cattle industry developed by three generations of the MacIvey family.

With the exception of the MacIvey clan, almost all 19th Century southerners and most northerners were extremely prejudice. The MacIveys loved Indians and blacks. Thei
Sharon Bruce
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this book was excellent! I loved reading about how it was to live off the land back in the late 1800's and how this family progressed through life. the description of the Florida land and animals and birds was amazing, I felt like I was there. Highly recommend! ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Should be required reading for residents of central Florida. Loved it.
Wow, what a ride.....this is an epic that I won’t soon forget. From rags to riches in three generations and what tolls were paid along the way. Amazing characters, phenomenal narration by George Guidall, and a captivating storyline made this unputdownable for me. I would love to see this made into a HBO/Netflix series. Highly recommend for those that like historical fiction.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Audible version: I wanted to learn a bit about my chosen state's history, and this was a great historical fiction choice! Telling the story of the McIvey's from 1858 to 1968, it taught me a lot I didn't know about Florida, and in a pleasant way. ...more
Amy S
Oct 29, 2009 rated it liked it
First, please don't let my three stars keep you from reading this book. It is a FABULOUSLY informative book about the beginnings of Florida as a civilized place. The amazing courage and strength it took to live in this primitive wilderness was amazing. I really enjoyed the information on the Florida frontier life, the real estate boom of the twenties, the Native American life, etc. I really loved that. I gave it a three (and again, I wish I could give a 3 1/2), because he's just not a great writ ...more
Beth Bedee
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm almost ashamed to admit that as a native Floridian, I have just now read this novel. I have such a greater appreciation for my home state. I don't drive down a Florida highway anymore without imagining the way it used to look.

The novel follows the MacIvey family through three generations from the Civil War to the 1960s. The writing is simple, yet effective. Each chapter is written cinematically. I can see each scene fading to black. This novel has every literary device a teacher needs and s
Entertaining historical fiction set in Florida mainly in the latter half of the 19th century. I very much enjoyed the story of the first generation of the family and the hardships they had to endure and overcome just to eke out a living in the Florida wilderness. Unfortunately the second generation story had a bit too much romance which was tiresome and the third generation story, which hit the 20th century, was shoe-horned into the last couple of hours of the audio. The narration by George Guid ...more
Larry B Gray
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can truely say this is one of the best if not the best book I have ever read. It is the kind of book that you will read every word because you do not want to miss a thing. Patrick D. Smith paints a story with his words that captures the true life of 3 generations of a pioneer family in the wilds of Florida in the mid-eighteen hundreds through the next 100 years. Their struggles and triumphs tells a story of courage and a sense of family.

I highly recommend this book as a must read for all ages.
Barb Graf
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Read this the fall of 2010; actually finished it while visiting daughter in FL; all the info about the history of FL really made the trip so much more interesting. A very earthy book about just how hard it was to be a settler and to survive. Also left me with a sad feeling about all that has been lost in the process of "civilization". Have passed this one on to many friends and they have loved it too. A friend from work first suggested it to me; she said it was "the best book I ever read". ...more
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ok... I admit.. I thought this was a true story when I started reading it. But quickly realized it was a novel. This book came highly recommended from everyone I knew that read it. Plus, I am a native Floridian that has family that lived in Big Cypress swamp country. I'm very familiar with Florida's environments and wildlife. I am usually not a fan of fiction, but I have to agree with the 5 or 6 people I know that read it .... This was a great book. I actually read it twice. As a 37 year Florida ...more
Edna Foster
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book club selection. I can tell you that I would never have picked this book up if it hadn’t been for book club. Once I started reading, however, I was oddly drawn in with strong memories of reading So Big and The Grapes of Wrath in my youth. The characters were interesting. My only complaint was the excessive detail for all the cattle drives. Ugh. Also, I wonder, is the author not a fan of women? Did they all have to meet such grisly fates?
This book tells an entertaining 3-generation family saga with a bit of history about Florida. The audible narrator - George Guidall - is excellent. I suspect the history is accurate but the interactions among the characters is sometimes simplistic, and the family members, expecially the first and second generation, are far nicer, as other reviewers have noted, than is believable with respect to the treatment of Native Americans, African Americans, and town drunks. Not to say, however, that it wo ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it

If there are some readers of this review who remember back to the 1980s, they might recall the tv mini-series Centennial which was an epic spanning decades as Colorado was settled and more specifically the town of Centennial, CO from the time of trappers who traded with Indians, the establishment of cattle drives to the present day cattle ranchers and modern life. It was much the same with A Land Remembered, but instead of Colorado, it was the taming of Florida, specifical
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Three generations of hard-working McIvey men help settle Florida into what it has become today. Narrated by George Guidall, who is my favorite story teller. Loved it.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would have never selected this book from 1984 to read on my own if it wasn’t from the prompting of some friends! It is a great historical fiction book about the history of the state of Florida! The author was local to Florida, and did a lot of research for all his publications. I researched the author as well after reading this book. Sadly, he has passed away.
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Florida Reading Challenge for 2016 4 19 Jun 29, 2019 03:28PM  

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Patrick Smith is a 1999 inductee into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, the highest and most prestigious cultural honor that can be bestowed upon an individual by the State of Florida.
In May 2002 Smith was the recipient of the Florida Historical Society’s Fay Schweim Award as the “Greatest Living Floridian.” The one-time-only award was established to honor the one individual who has contributed th

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