Fire & Fiction by Anna Sophia Roelina Riepma Summary
Augusta Jane Evans, a nineteenth-century writer from the American South, produced bestsellers in the genre of the domestic novel, popular between the 1820s and 1880s. Evans was particularly good in creating strong and independent heroines. She is best known for her blockbuster St. Elmo (1866), featuring the love story of Edna Earl and the passionate St. Elmo Murray.In Fire and Fiction: Augusta Jane Evans in Context Anne Sophie Riepma reconstructs the literary, cultural, religious, social, and historical contexts of Evans's work. She explores the author's relation to her times and focuses on the way her novels reflect and address the cultural experiences of Southern women. Riepma pays particular attention to topics such as the ideology of domesticity, domestic fiction, the concept of “woman's sphere,” women's role in society, middle-class culture, education and employment for women, religion, reform, political developments, and the Confederate War.
Harpsong by Rilla Askew Summary
Harlan Singer, a harmonica-playing troubadour, shows up in the Thompson family’s yard one morning. He steals their hearts with his music, and their daughter with his charm. Soon he and his fourteen-year-old bride, Sharon, are on the road, two more hobos of the Great Depression, hitchhiking and hopping freights across the Great Plains in search of an old man and the settlement of Harlan’s long-standing debt. Finding shelter in hobo jungles and Hoovervilles, the newlyweds careen across the 1930s landscape in a giant figure eight with Oklahoma in the middle. Sharon’s growing doubts about her husband’s quest set in motion events that turn Harlan Singer into a hero while blinding her to the dark secret of his journey. A love story infused with history and folk tradition, Harpsong shows what happened to the friends and neighbors Steinbeck’s Joads left behind. In this moving, redemptive tale inspired by Oklahoma folk heroes, Rilla Askew continues her exploration of the American story. Harpsong is a novel of love and loss, of adventure and renewal, and of a wayfaring orphan’s search for home—all set to the sounds of Harlan’s harmonica. It shows us the strength and resilience of a people who, in the face of unending despair, maintain their faith in the land.
Given Away by Olan Hill Jr. Summary
It was one of those cool October days when the California wind was slowly bringing the air a chill. October in California can be bleak and a little depressing. I was about to find out how depressing it could be. I was nine years old, on that cool October day. As I came home from school I noticed all my belongings; clothes, shoes everything I owned in a cardboard box on the front porch of the little clap board house where we lived, in bean town, just outside Clovis California. As I climbed the steps to the porch that day, my mind searching for an answer, the front door opened and my stepmother stepped out with a big smile on her face. Why are my things out here on the porch? I asked, Your dad has given you away she said. What did she mean given me away? You cant just give someone away. But what she said was true, my dad had given me away to a man to be raised, as he saw fit. Given me away to someone I did not know, to be taken away, to some faraway place, 1500 miles from here. Is that possible? Can your parents just give you away? Can they do that? Oh! Yes, they can do that.
Holy Fire Fell by Dirk R. Ellis Summary
Why do we worship as we do? What are the forgotten practices once central to many early Nazarene congregations? Because historical events and other factors have shaped and molded the various worship patterns found in local congregations, the way in which contemporary Nazarenes worship is no accident. Like other descendants of the American holiness movement, Nazarene worship is influenced by events predating our denominational forebears. This text explores the history behind current worship trends for a crucial reason: the very act of worship shapes and forms worshipers. Beliefs and attitudes are forged not merely by what is heard from the pulpit, but also by what is done bodily in the pew. Ellis examines the liturgical concerns and practice of John Wesley as well as those of early Nazarene pioneers in an attempt to address these issues. In so doing, the book provides a historical resource for denominational leaders, pastors, and congregations. At the same time, it aims to help congregations both to appreciate our rich ecclesial history and to critically evaluate current worship practices in order that they may truly be transformational.
Most American by Rilla Askew Summary
2018 PEN America Literary Award Finalist! In her first nonfiction collection, award-winning novelist Rilla Askew casts an unflinching eye on American history, both past and present. As she traverses a line between memoir and social commentary, Askew places herself—and indeed all Americans—in the role of witness to uncomfortable truths about who we are. Through nine linked essays, Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place evokes a vivid impression of the United States: police violence and gun culture, ethnic cleansing and denied history, spellbinding landscapes and brutal weather. To render these conditions in the particulars of place, Askew spotlights the complex history of her home state. From the Trail of Tears to the Tulsa Race Riot to the Murrah Federal Building bombing, Oklahoma appears as a microcosm of our national saga. Yet no matter our location, Askew argues, we must own our contradictory selves—our violence and prejudices, as well as our hard work and generosity—so the wounds of division in our society can heal. In these writings, Askew traces a personal journey that begins with her early years as an idealistic teenager mired in what she calls “the presumption of whiteness.” Later she emerges as a writer humble enough to see her own story as part of a larger historical and cultural narrative. With grace and authority she speaks honestly about the failures of the dominant culture in which she grew up, even as she expresses a sense of love for its people. In the wake of increasing gun violence and heightened national debate about race relations and social inequality, Askew’s reflections could not be more relevant. With a novelist’s gift for storytelling, she paints a compelling portrait of a place and its people: resilient and ruthless, decent but self-deceiving, generous yet filled with prejudice—both the best and the worst of what it means to be American.
Why Beulah Shot Her Pistol Inside the Baptist Church by Clayton Sullivan Summary
Raised in the Primitive Baptist Church, Beulah Buchanan at age 16 marries the much older deacon Ralph Rainey to escape from her oppressive parents, thus jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Over the next six years, Beulah works in her domineering husband’s cafe all day and cooks him dinner at home every night, dutifully attends church, and falls into an affair with the preacher. When she embarasses her husband by not cooking enough food for the ravenous visiting revival preacher, Ralph “chastises” Beulah with his belt. When he tries to beat her again on another occasion, she fights back and locks him in the cooler at his cafe, where he freezes to death. This sounds like and is a Southern Gothic tragedy, but it is told in Beulah’s voice, which is innocently hilarious. Beulah is an original, but readers who liked Clyde Eagerton’s Raney and Mark Childress’s Crazy in Alabama will hear familiar echoes of those Southern women protagonists.
Grove City by Janet Shailer,Laura Lanese Summary
As part of the Northwest Territory, the land encompassing Grove City served as payment to war heroes Gen. Daniel Morgan and Col. William Washington, a distant relative of George Washington, for their Revolutionary War service. They in turn sold this land, and in 1803, the region’s first pioneers, Hugh Grant and his wife, Catherine Barr, settled close to what is now downtown Grove City. In 1852, Grove City founder William F. Breck laid out the town plat and helped incorporate the village in 1856. Grove City remained a small farming village throughout the 19th and much of the 20th century, despite its proximity to the fast-growing capital city of Columbus. While the beginning of the 21st century has brought dramatic growth, Grove City continues to hold on to its vibrant, small-town character through its Roaring Twenties–era Thoroughbred racetrack, its picturesque town center, and the numerous educational activities hosted by the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society.
Red Dirt Women by Susan Kates Summary
For many people who have never spent time in the state, Oklahoma conjures up a series of stereotypes: rugged cowboys, tipi-dwelling American Indians, uneducated farmers. When women are pictured at all, they seem frozen in time: as the bonneted pioneer woman stoically enduring hardship or the bedraggled, gaunt-faced mother familiar from Dust Bowl photographs. In Red Dirt Women, Susan Kates challenges these one-dimensional characterizations by exploring—and celebrating—the lives of contemporary Oklahoma women whose experiences are anything but predictable. In essays both intensely personal and universal, Red Dirt Women reveals the author’s own heartaches and joys in becoming a parent through adoption, her love of regional treasures found in “junk” stores, and her deep appreciation of Miss Dorrie, her son’s unconventional preschool teacher. Through lively profiles, interviews, and sketches, we come to know pioneer queens from the Panhandle, rodeo riders, casino gamblers, roller-derby skaters, and the “Lady of Jade”—a former “boat person” from Vietnam who now owns a successful business in Oklahoma City. As she illuminates the lives of these memorable Oklahoma women, Kates traces her own journey to Oklahoma with clarity and insight. Born and raised in Ohio, she confesses an initial apprehension about her adopted home, admitting that she felt “vulnerable on the open lands.” Yet her original unease develops into a deep affection for the landscape, history, culture, and people of Oklahoma. The women we meet in Red Dirt Women are not politicians, governors’ wives, or celebrities—they are women of all ages and backgrounds who surround us every day and who are as diverse as Oklahoma itself.
... Annual Report of the Fire Insurance Patrol of the City of Philadelphia by Fire Insurance Patrol of the City of Philadelphia Summary
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Hot Like Fire by Niobia Bryant Summary
"A FABULOUS LOVE STORY." --Urban Reviews Sexy widower Kade Strong has moved back into the house he once shared with his wife, hoping to bring some stability into his six-year-old daughter's life. He's certainly not looking for a relationship--but the women of Holtsville, South Carolina, have different ideas. Only Garcelle Santos respects Kade's grief--and he can't help being irresistibly drawn to her. . . A nursing student, Garcelle can use a little extra money and accepts Kade's job offer to babysit --despite a first meeting filled with drama. Once they get past their differences, a deep friendship is forged between them. When Garcelle sees the tricks the neighborhood women have up their sleeves to seduce Kade, she makes it her business to protect him. But when she finds herself getting jealous, she realizes she's fallen in love. Now, one stormy night alone may ignite a desire that only leaves them wanting more. . . "Hot men, spicy women and a sexually captivating story." –RT Book Reviews
Sweet Beulah Land by Marilyn Denny Thomas Summary
Though Sweet Beulah Land is entirely fiction, the characters and events are true to life of rural eastern North Carolina, circa 1900. Beulah was a small village where folks married, had babies, worked hard and enjoyed a bit of fun here and there. From Jeb and Sarah Jane Gresham's farm to the country store of Nate and Laney Gresham, the stories of the citizenry of Beulah are deeply intertwined in a homespun tale of heartache, hope, and humor. Murder, mystery, love, adversity and faith-Sweet Beulah Land has it all. For the reader whose roots grow deep in the rich soil of eastern North Carolina, each page is filled with precious memories of a bygone day. For those who hail from other regions of America the Beautiful, the book offers an open door to visit a unique people who become vibrantly alive in this delightful tale of trial and triumph! Wife, mother, grandmother, business woman, teacher and speaker, Marilyn Denny Thomas began her career as a published author by writing inspirational short stories in the late eighties. She made her debut as a novelist in 2005 with The Gentile and the Jew: A Divine Romance, the prequel to her second novel, Going Home: A Divine Journey published in 2007. Sweet Beulah Land is her third book. Marilyn lives with her husband, Ricky, in Southeastern North Carolina. They have two daughters, one fine son-in-law and six precious grandchildren. www.marilyndennythomas.com
Skeptical Inquiry and Religious Awakening in Beulah, by Augusta Jane Evans by Robert Milton Underwood, Jr. Summary
Beulah, by Augusta Jane Evans, was hugely successful at the time it was published in America in 1859. A semi-autobiographical account, the author felt it was her duty to warn readers of the problems she had experienced with religious skepticism. Advances in science after the Middle Ages led to the increasing valuation of reason and objectivity. By the early- to mid-nineteenth century it was quite fashionable to be skeptical, especially about religious matters. The eponymous heroine of the novel passes through several phases of religious faith on her intellectual journey of skepticism before she finally reawakens with a mature Christian faith. She eventually learns to properly balance faith and reason.