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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (365 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Francine Thomas Howard Narrator: Casaundra Freeman Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9781455827114
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It is 1913, shortly before the start of the First World War, and Annalaura is alone again. Her gambling, womanizing husband has left the plot they sharecrop in rural Tennessee—why or for how long she does not know. Without food or money and with her future tied to the fate of the season’s tobacco crop, Annalaura struggles to raise her four children. When help comes in the form of an amorous landowner, who is she to turn it—and him—away?

In this remarkable first novel, as bracingly original as it is exquisitely rendered, Francine Howard tells a moving story of American desire and ambition and the tragic, slippery boundaries of race under Jim Crow.

“Based on a true family story, this haunting first novel admirably revisits a painful time in history. Too often historical novels about women indulge in anachronistic explorations of feminism, but this novel admirably avoids that trap and instead portrays realistic characters dealing with their difficult lot in life.” —Booklist

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 2/17/2014

    " Well told story of black sharecropper (Annalaura)apparently abandoned and left with 4 children by husband (John Welles). In struggle for survival she ends in affair with white landowner (Alex McNaughton). Mutual affection follows as does baby. In the end Annalaura has to choose between John who returns to her and Alex. Point of book, I think, is not choice she makes as we do not know that but rather the power she has to make the choice. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tory | 2/17/2014

    " All of my least favorite things - bad writing, heaving bosoms, etc ick. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jes Singer | 2/2/2014

    " Powerful insight into the times, great read, great characters though some story lines left untied. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane Glendinning | 1/22/2014

    " Completely enjoyed this, about survival and personal strength. Vivid characters and story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kay Grady | 1/16/2014

    " A very good read. Vibrant characters. Hard times with even more difficult personal situations. My only fault is that it ended a tad abruptly...or perhaps I wanted to hear more of the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cris Lynn | 1/12/2014

    " casual read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 1/4/2014

    " Very good story, a culture not so far in our past...good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy (NE) | 1/4/2014

    " I have mixed feelings about this book. "Pages" is a story of racial and gender issues in 1913 Tennessee. There were parts I really liked, and others I thought unnecessary. I'm no prude, but some steamy parts felt too close to one of those bodice rippers with a tawdry cover. On the other hand, that might have been when kept me turning pages after alot of heavy somber reading lately! The author tried to break some stereotypes by reversing what could have been cliched plots and characters, but it didn't always work for me. I do question whether some of what I felt as implausible is my caucasian naivete showing through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joni | 9/16/2013

    " a very fast read, a good title to read set in an earlier time than "The Help". Annalaura Welles is left alone on a sharecropper farm with 4 children to feed and no prospects. A huge indictment of the Jim Crow south and the plight of colored and white women to rise above the injustice of the times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Genie Lindsay | 9/6/2013

    " I liked this book as well as the help. I am surprised it is not on the best sellers list. It should be on the top 10. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauri | 8/7/2013

    " This book happens to be set in Tennessee, with an emphasis on the relationships between tobacco farmers and share croppers in the early 1900's. It's definitely a page turner that keeps you guessing on what's ultimately going to happen. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 6/27/2013

    " Intriguing book. The first chapter is rough to read and fortunately that language does not persist. A strong story almost hard to believe. An eye opener. Need to digest this story for a few days before I can start another. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 4/30/2013

    " Jane, here's another one you will like=) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 12/31/2012

    " I liked this book after I got past the harshness of the language and the treatment of the African-American people. I would like to think stories like this never happened in our country but I know that's not true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arlene Walker | 12/22/2012

    " This is a story about a tenant farming black woman in 1913 Tennessee, whose husband leaves her during harvest time, but help comes from an unlikely place. Namely, her white landlord. Havoc ensues. The novel has a slow start, but builds into a great read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura Murdoch | 10/20/2012

    " I need to add this to the books I did not finish. This book reads like a Harlequin Romance from the early 1900s. The story could have been great, but was peppered with bad writing, heaving bosoms, growing manhood, etc. Ick! I read about 90 pgs. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Greta Marlow | 10/19/2012

    " Although this book dealt with an important historical issue, I just really didn't connect with any of the characters. I thought it was all sort of melodramatic, with people acting in ways that weren't necessarily consistent or realistic. And the ending was a real disappointment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara Jones | 9/20/2012

    " Loved this book. Loved Annalaura, loved Alex, loved John and loved Eula. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz K | 1/24/2012

    " A little unrealistic by the end of the novel. Starts out very realistically. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam M. | 1/11/2012

    " The ending was especially great! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn Matesi | 1/6/2012

    " Good book. Kept interest and a fast read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 11/13/2011

    " loved it-- read it in 3 days-- it was probably a true story. you actually felt like you were in the room witnessing everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annemarie | 10/23/2011

    " Graphic, but an excellent view into the reality of slavery "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shannon | 10/19/2011

    " The review of this book says "stunning debut novel". I wasn't stunned. The subject matter was interesting but too graphic and the writing was just average. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 9/30/2011

    " I liked this book after I got past the harshness of the language and the treatment of the African-American people. I would like to think stories like this never happened in our country but I know that's not true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 9/24/2011

    " Loved it! A glimpse at one event in the lives of four different people all with a different perspective. I was angry at the end because there was no real resolution but I quickly realized that it was the perfect ending because, as with any journal, the story is never over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 9/4/2011

    " Very good story, a culture not so far in our past...good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 7/4/2011

    " I enjoyed this book and thought it was well written. My biggest disappointment was that it didn't have a conclusive ending. I'm just the type of reader who wants to know exactly how the story ends, and that wasn't the case with this book. I would read this author again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda | 4/6/2011

    " Very good, but you know the end can't turn out well for anyone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz K | 2/28/2011

    " A little unrealistic by the end of the novel. Starts out very realistically. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 2/27/2011

    " Jane, here's another one you will like=) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauri | 1/18/2011

    " This book happens to be set in Tennessee, with an emphasis on the relationships between tobacco farmers and share croppers in the early 1900's. It's definitely a page turner that keeps you guessing on what's ultimately going to happen. Highly recommended. "

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About the Author
Francine Thomas Howard is the author of Page from a Tennessee Journal and Paris Noire. Exploring the multicultural legacy of African-descended people throughout the diaspora, her stories reflect her own African, European, and Native American heritage. Originally from Illinois, Howard earned a BA in occupational therapy from San José State and an MPA from the University of San Francisco. She left a rewarding career in pediatric occupational therapy to pursue another love, writing. Desiring to preserve the remarkable oral histories of her family tree, she began writing down those stories with little thought to publication. That all changed when she turned a family secret about her grandmother and grandfathers into Page from a Tennessee Journal. Howard submitted the novel to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and now publishes with Lake Union Publishing.