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Extended Audio Sample Love and Lament: A Novel, by John Milliken  Thompson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Milliken Thompson Narrator: Christine Williams Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Set in rural North Carolina between the Civil War and World War I, Love and Lament chronicles the Hartsoe family’s ex­traordinary hardships and misfortunes.

Mary Bet, the youngest of nine children, was born the same year the first railroad arrived in their county. As she comes of age during the South’s reconstruction and industrialization, she must learn to overcome her family’s curse: the deaths of her mother and siblings, a deaf and damaged older brother, and her father’s growing insanity and rejection of God.

In the rich tradition of Southern gothic literature, John Milliken Thompson transports the reader back in time through brilliant characterization and historical details to explore what it means to be a woman charting her own destiny in a rapidly evolving world dominated by men.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Thompson perfectly captures the Carolina Piedmont’s sights, sounds, and flavors and convincingly depicts the turn-of-the-century South—haunted by the Civil War, and embracing old-time religion and new-fangled machinery and ideas. Underlying and uplifting his narrative is Mary Bet’s vivid point of view: hiding while her grandmother breaks up her grandfather’s drunken poker game, helping the sheriff chase down moonshiners, watching Cicero and Able, the son of slaves, try to grow bananas in North Carolina’s climate.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The voice of the narrator feels authentic to the era, and Mary Bet springs off the page as a character. She is confident but conflicted, and her realistic journey will keep readers engaged.”

    Booklist

  • “The changing South looms over the narrative, as the economy shifts from agrarian to industrial and racism warps the civic character. But Thompson has taken pains not to let history intrude too much: this is a more intimate narrative, a study of one woman’s reward for stubborn persistence…An appealing historical novel that blends gothic and plainly romantic themes.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Love and Lament offers us a young daughter of a still much-broken South, Mary Bet Hartsoe, as she witnesses the excesses of long-held jealousies, madness, religion, and war, suffers the loss one after another of her family members, and yet marches on to become more than a woman of her time…It’s a wonderful journey to behold.”

    Michelle Hoover, author of The Quickening

  • “Thompson recreates the years after the Civil War with breathtaking clarity; it's a rare joy to sink into a novel and believe in it so completely.”

    Ann Napolitano, author of A Good Hard Look

  • “John Milliken Thompson visits again the fertile ground that he explored so satisfyingly in The Reservoir: the south at the turn of the prior century; the trials of families under strain from within and without; and the mysterious relationships between good and evil, God and man. Love and Lament is a powerful book that you'll not soon forget.”

    Jon Clinch, author of Finn, Kings of the Earth

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About the Author

John Milliken Thompson is the author of The ReservoirAmerica’s Historic Trails, and Wildlands of the Upper South, as well as the coauthor of The Almanac of American History. His articles have appeared in Smithsonian, Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, and other publications, and his short stories have been published in Louisiana Literature, South Dakota Review, and many other literary journals. He has lived in the South all his life.