On the Southern Literary Trail discussion

This topic is about Varina
Group Reads: Moderator's Choice > Final Impressions: Varina by Charles Frazier: August 2018

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message 1: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - added it

Tom Mathews | 2502 comments Mod
Comments on this board are made with the assumption that readers have finished the book and may include spoilers.

message 2: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
I’ve read all of his books except Thirteen Moons, I got halfway through and had to sit the book down. I felt so disconnected from it. Anyone else tried that one? I have really liked this one.

message 3: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3869 comments Mod
I liked this one a lot, and of course Cold Mountain but haven't read his others.

Camie | 101 comments I liked this a lot more than expected , especially as it got to the middle pages and started to be in more chronological order. I liked that Limber Jimmie was added to the story and thought he was a good conduit to a more connected storyline. I really enjoy the prose filled style in which Charles Frazier writes and as a 60+age woman I enjoyed seeing Varina continue to blossom .She was.certainly A smart strong woman who suffered immense personal loss but somehow she still managed to hold on to some of her life dreams 5 stars for Varina

message 5: by John (last edited Aug 28, 2018 03:09PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

John (jwarner6comcastnet) | 139 comments Varina by Charles Frazier

As the American Civil War was drawing to a close and it was clear that the South was going to lose, the defeated President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, told his wife, Varina, better known as V, to take the children and flee south from Richmond to Florida to seek passage to Cuba. This is how this historical fiction begins, which portrays the life of the First Lady of the South. I had high hopes for this novel since I loved Cold Mountain, but found it a more difficult read than his debut award-winner. The novel frequently switched among V's childhood in Mississippi, courtship with the much older Jefferson, and her husband's political life in Washington. I found myself becoming confused with the transitions. The entourage meets a number of individuals during their journey south, especially through Georgia, and found myself also having difficulty keeps all the characters straight. The earlier and final chapters of the book were the best; I found the middle chapters boring. I don't recall having a similar difficult with Cold Mountain.

Julie  Durnell | 14 comments Charles Frazier writes historical fiction extremely well and the novel Varina is no exception. She comes across as a very sad but strong woman who experienced so much in her life as First Lady of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis is not a major player in this novel but is integral to the overall story. The people who were close to her were well drawn and helped flesh out her personality. I didn't know much about Jefferson Davis or Varina so this has piqued my interest in reading more about them.

message 7: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - added it

Tom Mathews | 2502 comments Mod
I finished this this morning. As much as I love Charles Frazier's writing, I found the pace of this story a bit slow. As I do much of my print reading at bedtime I found that after one or two pages of Varina a night put me right out. That said, I did find Frazier's description of the post-war years and the pervasive sense of melancholy fascinating in that I have thought of the physical horrors of the war and the hardship that it caused but I never really considered the simple sense of dejection that people must have felt. I loved the line, "Is it self-government or self-immolation that we are testing?"

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