Format: Kindle Edition
When it comes to comprehensive history books, particularly when they are focused on individual families or cities, rather than broader subjects about the nation and the world, I can sometimes click off, losing interest in the minor details of lives. However, Smith has managed to bring the microcosm of a fascinating and complicated family in line with the macrocosm of global history over the course of more than a century. The intense detailed connection between world history and the goings-on of this family were illustrated perfectly, and I felt the tone of the book, the speech of the characters, the reactions to certain stimuli, the societal roles, and the evolving conflicts grow as time passed. In the same way that Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Faulkner mastered the art of familial narratives, Smith has similarly captured a spark of brilliance in his writing and in this epic story. I know these people; I have watched them grow and live and struggle and die and exist within a changing landscape so beautifully provided by Mr. Smith. This is one of the better books I’ve read in a long time, and I will be certain to recommend this one to others. Not to be missed.