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Settling the Account by Shayne Parkinson
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it was amazing

I have already reviewed Sentence of Marriage, but I'm going to include the entire series plus A Second Chance in this review because they really go together and could be one book (length permitting). In fact, somewhere in the middle of Mud and Gold, I realized what other saga this series brings to mind. If you read and loved Helen Hooven Santmeyer's ...And Ladies of the Club, I think you'll love this series.

These books kept me up at night. I dreamed of the characters. I can't get enough of this big, sprawling family and their lives. And when I reached the end, I wanted more.

The series starts with Amy and Lizzie and the divergence their lives take based on their choices, but then it becomes so much more. It's about life in the late 1800s and then progresses, along with the characters, to the early 1900s. (I'm so invested in this story, I even looked up ladies' fashions during these time periods so I could get a better idea of how the characters would have dressed and done their hair!) It's about choices and consequences and relationships. It's about being young and growing old. It's about farm life in a remote area of New Zealand during the time period. It's about maturing and understanding and change. It's about the Leith family, which grows in leaps and bounds as the books progress. Shayne Parkinson does an amazing job of writing the characters throughout. You'd think characters would get "lost" as the families grow, but these books are so well-written that I just found myself with more people to love and care about. I want to know how Frank goes about building his thriving farm and how he divides it between his many children; at the same time, I know I'll cry buckets when Frank and Lizzie get old and eventually die. I want to see little Eddie grow up. I want to know what George is up to and where Thomas is going. I even want more of Susannah, even though I can't really stand her (she seems to be mellowing with age).

I laughed. I cried. I loved. I turned pages faster than if I'd been reading a mile-a-minute thriller.

In short, Sentence of Marriage is going to be the most expensive free book I ever downloaded because I'm going to buy every damn book in this series. Shayne Parkinson could write 10 more and I'd read every last one of them.
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Reading Progress

September 15, 2011 – Shelved
September 16, 2011 – Started Reading
September 16, 2011 –
page 300
49.34% "Oh my - I simply cannot put these books down. I'm going to be up all night, thinking of all the ways I'd like Charlie to die; I.e., badly, painfully, but suddenly so as not to create work for Amy."
September 18, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Marietjie Steyn I feel the same! Wonderful books.

Terry These are fantastic books. I know you what you mean about being expensive though. I could have (should have) bought all 4 as a bundle and saved some money. I didn't realize when I got the first one just how involved I would get in Amy's and Lizzie's lives. I'm starting on the 4th one now.

Fouzia Adjailia how many chapters in there, the book suddenly ended in a middle of a sentence in the 16th chapter, u r all talking abt happy ending....if I didn't finish that book soon I will be crazy

Emily I couldn't agree more! Got started with the Kindle freebie and can't stop reading. Fortunately the others are only $2.99 each, so I won't go broke. They sure do engage me, though, and I hope she'll keep writing them!

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