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Eastbound from Flagstaff: A Novel

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A love story based on Annette Valentine’s father, Eastbound From Flagstaff portrays an individual who comes to recognize the significance of family, loyalty, and the richness of his heritage.
Simon Hagan is running from a lie, intent on believing his own efforts and perseverance can overcome anything. He abandons roots that are his foundational strength and hides behind his
Paperback, 334 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Morgan James Fiction
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Píaras Cíonnaoíth
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazing story of courage, strength and faith...

Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine is a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel with brilliantly drawn characters and settings. The author weaves a well-crafted historical tale set against the backdrop of the Great Depression in the 1920s and inspired by her own fathers life. Skillfully constructed, this amazing story about life and faith had me turning the pages from beginning to end.

The story unfurls in small acts, at first
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eastbound From Flagstaff by Annette Valentine is a marvellous debut novel. The genre is Christian historical, covering the decade of the 1920’s.
The novel is about a journey – a physical journey and a spiritual journey to the heart of God. God never gives up on us. “That God you’re challenging is not going to give up on you, and He’s not going to let you be God either.” No matter how far we go, no matter what we do or think, our Father God, like the father in the prodigal son, waits for us. He lo
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know how much of this is fact, and how much is fiction, but I do know that this is one of my favorite books in the historical fiction genre. It had me aching for the main character again and again. Following his life as he traveled and tried to figure out who he was really impacted me. I loved how he was running from God, but God kept chasing him and bringing him close again. Definitely recommend this book to everyone!
Helen Hollick
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the 1920s, Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine is the story about Simon Hagan, his inner struggles with love, and the tragedy that many times can be a consequence of that love. The story begins in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1929. As Hagan prepares to finally welcome the love of his life, who is arriving eastbound from Flagstaff, his anxiety sets in as the bus station clerk starts to inform Hagan that the bus is usually on time, but… Before the clerk can finish his sentence, the ...more
Kathleen Kelly
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"A love story based on the author’s father,
Eastbound From Flagstaff, is a fresh testament to the resiliency of the human spirit with one stouthearted man’s quest to improve life’s offering."
The first chapter had Simon Hagen waiting in a train station for his wife Celeste and their baby daughter. This was the first that Simon will have met his new daughter.

The next chapter takes up back to Simon's beginning. He is 17 years old when he witnesses the death of his mother. A horrible thing that affec
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine is based on her father’s story. When Simon Hagan witnesses a tragedy no one should see, he questions the foundation his life was built upon. Rejecting his father’s God, Simon runs. Just when Simon finds peace in his life, heartbreak strikes again. A bus eastbound from Flagstaff is the catastrophe that trumps them all, and he hits rock bottom. Can he overcome his bitterness when he is stripped of everything?
I found Eastbound from Flagstaff had many p
Carolina Solano
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Annette Valentine is a talented and creative storyteller. She is the author of a trilogy called My Father and this book Eastbound from Flagstaff is the first in the series.
The story reflects the life of Simon in 1920. He is a man that must progress and get ahead beyond the difficulties that constantly arise, especially because his faith is tested at all times.
Annette is an author that I recently discovered and I was pleasantly surprised by her way of writing, her way of weaving the story, and he
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the 1920’s, when America looked vastly different than it does now, this book opens with a traditional family on a farm. They love each other, and love God. When tragedy hist the family, the oldest son Simon Hagan, starts to doubt God. He decides to leave the family farm when his father remarries and seeks his luck elsewhere. Throughout his life’s ups and downs, he never forgets that bitterness against God that was instilled in him as a young boy. Towards the end of his life, he finally ha ...more
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eastbound from Flagstaff is an amazing, heart melting novel written by Annette Valentine based on his father’s life.
This is also an historical novel set during the Great Depression times. I loved how the author managed to take me back to that time with her words and how she described Simon, the main character. He faced many challenges and has many adventures traveling from one place to another.
It’s very captivating to read how Simon gets discouraged, frustrated but at the end he finds pace ove
Alfredo R
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A novel about life and faith
The novel Eastbound from Flagstaff was written by Annette Valentine. In this compelling book, Valentine, a natural storyteller, shares with us a love story that was actually inspired by her own father.
Valentine does a wonderful job in taking us to the 1920s and making us feel we are going through the same experiences as her father did. We are kindly taken to the past, and we learn, suffer, and smile with the main character, named Simon Hagan.
The organization of the
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A novel based on the author's father, this novel called Eastbound from Flagstaff: A Novel by Annette Valentine is a beautiful book with a noteworthy story. The plot revolved around in the 1920's and it has a romantic theme that also focused on family values, faithfulness and the importance of heritage. In particular, I loved the storyline and the plot. I found them interesting enough to capture my interest and continuously read until I know what would happen next and how it would end.

The writing
Mia C.
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a lovely cover that portrays a lot of feelings. “Eastbound from Flagstaff: a novel” is a book written by Annette Valentine, inspirational storyteller. This coming of age story is very authentic and genuine and it is written in the first person.
The author managed to write a very well written and complete love story based on her father. His writing style is very captivating and this is one of the reasons that once I started reading the book, it was difficult to put it down. There is a good ba
Sol Tyty
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eastbound from Flagstaff is the first installment of an epic trilogy. This one in particular is based on the life of the author’s father. Annette Valentine is an inspirational storyteller and this book proves she masters her writing skill amazingly well.
The storyline revolves around Simon, the main character, and its plot is set in the 1920's, during the times of the Great Depression. Valentine has done an a amazing job taking anybody who reads this book back to those times.
The narrative is pre
Joy Kidney
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although it takes a while for the story to get to Flagstaff, it is a remarkably satisfying tale, based on the life of the author's father, of searching for the meaning of one's life. Especially after a terrible death plays on the mind of a young man, blame can easily become part of him. Simon felt that he hurt everyone he touched, and questioned why he was even here.

Written in a compelling deep point of view, the tale--set just before and during the Great Depression--takes Simon from Kentucky to
A journey worth reading!

I absolutely love books like this one. It goes over a period of life of a man named Simon. We get to see his life progress through many different eras and adventures. He is moving from one place to another and meeting different people in different parts of his life. My favorite thing about the book was the way he expresses himself about past people and past experiences. He talks about how he feels about them and about how he looks back in retrospect. It was really interes
Wilma Bates
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story about a man who faces many heartaches and is angry with God for allowing them to happen. After he is at his lowest point he finally accepts God is watching over him and loves him. He returns to his beloved home to be near his family in Kentucky and maybe the beginning of a new love interest. I can't wait to read the next two installments. This is a must read book. ...more
jan lewis
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absorbing and wonderfully written and also clean book

This is an amazing book. I love historical novels and enjoyed reading this. The endurance of the human spirit is incredible. This man its about had many battles in side himself and outside but he kept going and finally overcame and acknowledged Who was there all the time. God is patient with us .
Apr 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Read for book club. The local author was scheduled to come to book club and share her story. Unfortunately this was for our April meeting and due to pandemic, we had to cancel. I did enjoy the book. A few of us heard the author speak at an author event last year and we find her synopsis interesting. I will look forward to her next book.
Courtney Halverson
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
I feel like this story had such promise but in the end the book moved too slow and seemed to get bogged down in a lot of unnecessary details. The parts of the story that I actually wanted to hear more about are the parts of the story that skipped ahead (5 years later etc.). I don't plan on continuing the trilogy. ...more
Lou H. Scriber
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read. Twists & turns

My first read by this author. Reading primarily Christian writings. Some was a little slow with much detail. Book moved really fast at the end. Planning to read the trilogy.
Grace Coddington

Powerful, engaging story of a young man’s journey to find himself and God. Dealing with immense loss, Simon’s struggle to come to terms with life and anger with himself and God makes this book a must read!!!
Cathie Manley-mckenzie
I fell in love with Simon

He's the lead Character in this study of human nature and his resistance to the the love we sometimes can not see. I laughed and then I cried and finally felt relief. Yes it was another "can't out it down ?I HAVE TO know what happens !! Loved the book !!
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Captivating story by a gifted writer!
Jackie Kambouris
A must read

To tell the truth I decided to read this only because of the title. I was born and raised in Flagstaff. I highly recommend this wonderful story.
Donna Cervantez
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read
Debbie Heibert
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book by a local author. Great book club read.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“God shielded me and cared for me and guarded me as the apple of his eye”. This is one of those books that you need to find a nice comfortable easy chair, carve out a few hours of your day, grab a cup of tea, just sit back, enjoy and savor the entire story. I feel blessed to have read this book and follow the early life of Simon Hagan.
We learn a lot about the times of the early 1900’s, the hard life on the farm in Kentucky and how the big city of Detroit drew so many workers for the Ford plant.
Brenda Shelton
rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2020
Robin Larson Bathke
rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2020
Linda Brents
rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2020
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