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Perpetua's Kin

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The author of the much acclaimed #1 Indie Next Pick The Green Age of Asher Witherow returns with an enthralling historical mystery about a family shaped as much by tumultuous world events as by each of its members' unspoken decisions. Epic in scope and yet intimate in its emotional power, Perpetua's Kin moves across several generations and much of North America, from Penns ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Atelier26 Books
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Birgitta Hjalmarson
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At the heart of Perpetua’s Kin stands Benjamin Lorn, a young man beset by wanderlust. Minutes before his mother dies, she extracts his promise not to leave Perpetua, the small Midwestern town where he was born. She also asks him to forgive his father, a Civil War veteran, whose bitterness has poisoned the household for as long as Benjamin can recall. Unable to keep his promise, Benjamin finds himself adrift, traversing the continent as a railroad employee but also for reasons so deeply personal ...more
Jason Arias
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
M. Allen Cunningham has spun a tale that weaves through generations via tight prose and convincing letters. It explores the many ways we are utterly human, or trying to be human, or wondering what it even means to be human. How the dropping of a stone in one specific moment in time can ripple out over lifetimes. How each ring produced from that stone is an individual with a different understanding of its inception and simultaneously only one of many rings in succession.

A timely, ambitious, and p
Susan Walker
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has two things that I love. History and Mystery. It is very well written and will keep the reader hooked.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is very well written, with a sentimental and soulful touch.....
Amy Doan
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"'A message comes through,' said Mueller, 'and it falls to us to interpret the whole—all the broken signals as one, yes? We tune ourselves, you might say, to the music entire and not the separate notes. The whole and not the parts. Understand?'"

An absolutely brilliant novel by one of the most gifted fiction writers working today. In this unforgettable twist on Hamlet set against the aftermath of the Civil War, Cunningham examines the wounds of a family & a country. He manages to make his story b
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
M. Allen Cunningham writes a gorgeous story of a tangled family history that spans five generations. The Lorn family has secrets buried deeply in their history, but as they seem to always do, these secrets begin to come to light and have a devastating affect upon their unaware descendents. Cunningham is a remarkable writer: his prose is delicate, touching, and lyrical, and his precise wrangling of the English language shines throughout this book. Set partially during the Civil War, and against a ...more
~Theresa Kennedy~
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So, I finally got to finish reading this book, Perpetua's Kin. Wow. So elegant, so lovely, so fucking good.

The way Cunningham uses older syntax and language to create the feeling of a place, flawless. The spare quality of his prose, the elegance, the tight and poetic language used makes this a story that is unforgettable. An exploration into the ways people loved each other, how universal those processes are, but also the different social customs of different times, the social repression, and t
David R.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Of course there is a story: a protagonist on a quest, a family saga, the story of a nation written in the blood of people who lived and died in its sway. However, my first reaction upon closing the cover was not to reflect on the stunning resolution of the story but rather to wonder at Mr. Cunningham's artistry as its creator. Writing is hard work. And there are ways in which writers make the task easier on themselves or exponentially harder, much like a competitive diver or gymnast will increas ...more
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from goodreads giveaway. I would give this book an almost four. Perpetua's Kin takes place over 100 years. Perpetua is a small town In Iowa. When Benjamin Lorn's mother is on her death bed she tells him to get some letters from the barn and read them. he reads of a secret kept from him until now. She wants her young son to stay in Perpetua but he wants to travel. Benjamin heads west and works for the telegraph wires. he meets and falls in love still haunted by the ...more
Laury A. Egan
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Before I began reading the book, I was impressed by the beautiful design and production of the paperback--heavy paper and cover and very handsome. As a retired book designer, I see very few of these quality productions from indie publishers. The novel lived up to the book's outstanding creation, with brilliant characters, a complex time sequence, and stunning writing. Cunningham's research into the historical periods is first-rate and handled with authority. After this, I read his sto ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately this book was not for me, I stopped reading about half way through. It was a slow mover, nothing caught my attention to make me want to keep reading. It was difficult to keep track of the characters, and there were too many letters written from one character to another.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A throughly engrossing read. Nothing is ever what it appears...especially when it comes to human behavior.

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Oct 18, 2018
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M. Allen Cunningham published his debut novel, The Green Age of Asher Witherow (Unbridled Books), at age 26. Set in nineteenth-century Northern California, The Green Age served as the inaugural title for independent publisher Unbridled Books, was widely acclaimed, was selected by the American Booksellers Association as a #1 Indie Next Pick, was a Finalist for the Indie Next Book of the Year Awar ...more

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