[ Read Online A Parchment of Leaves ✓ x-men PDF ] by Silas House ï Beautifully written book about the love between a young couple in rural Kentucky 1917 Vine, a young Cherokee woman and Saul, a young Irishman.
The story shows their tender relationship with outside prejudices that they overcome, as she leaves her Cherokee community and they move into the young man s mother s house till they get their home built His mother Esme, is a wonderful character, who becomes very close to Vine.
Saul also has a brother Aaron, who falls in love with Vine and pays her unwanted advances, and this becomes a huge part of the story, especially after World War l begins and Saul takes a job away from home for a great paying job that he feels will set them up well for the future.
The landscape and hard work of this life in Appalachia was much to my liking, highly recommended When Saul, a young man of Irish descent, first sees Vine, a young Cherokee woman, standing half in the darkness of the doorway, her facelost to shadowshe finds himself searching for words to describe herHer eyes were chips of coal her lips, the color of peach light at dusk He approaches her with payment from his mother for saving his brother, which Vine tries to refuse, and then asks him if he is not afraid of her, because of the rumours of her being able to kill men with her curses He never believed such things, he tells her, but that the others do believe thatYou ought to believe, she said I ve got plenty of magic about me And so they marry, and at first they live with Saul s mother, Esme, until they finish building their cabin, and then they have a place of their own, and it isn t long before they have a baby, a daughter they name Birdie Life is hard in these Appalachian mountains in Kentucky, but life is good And then the country enters WWI, and Saul s job location as a logging foreman is moved to a mountain far from their home And Vine s world shrinks a little with him gone Saul returns home as often as he can, but she finds a friend in Serena, a local midwife, and she has Saul s mother nearby, and his brother, Aaron, which may not always be for the best Vine s mother had believed in God, her fatherversed us in the ways of the QuakersShe recalls one day when they were hunting up ginseng and her mother rose up sayingShh Listen Her watery eyes would scan the treetops as a gentle breeze drifted over That s the Creator passing through But, until Vine held her baby girl in her arms, she hadn t seen, hadn t believedGod, I said when I looked down at her They all thought I was just saying this in amazement, I guess, but I wasn t When I looked down at my baby, I felt like I was looking down and seeing the face of God Peace washed over me It is an unexplainable thing, holding your baby for the first time It s a feeling you can t put a name to, so I won t try But I ll say this much I felt like we were the only people in the world that night I felt like nobody else existed except for the people right there in that room Even Saul was a ghost, steering his horse around steep mountain roads on his way home I started believing the day my baby was born, because I could look right down and see proof of Him Everything in this story is so beautifully and lovingly brought to life, I felt as if I were there, but there is also such a strong sense of these people as real and filled with all the potential for love and life, laughter and sadness, hope and joy, it feels so very real and honest and I could feel it all And there is joy, and yes, even a deep sadness in this story that permeates it for a time, but this is an incredibly beautiful story, beautifully told overall.
This book is beautiful The story is about the marriage of a Cherokee woman and a white Southerner, but that is just the beginning The husband s brother falls in love with her too It is about love relationships between man and wife and deep friendship between women, coming to care for another and doing what is right What if laws do not protect you, what do you do then The story happens before and up to the conclusion of the First World War The setting is Appalachia, the Kentucky hinterland.
The Southern writing spoke to me Beautiful, simple and expressive The spoken words are not grammatically correct, but neither should they be The characters came alive for me Each character s essence is evoked both through actions and words The women spoke to me, each in their own way Each became a separate identity Character portrayal is a strong element of this book Religious beliefs and traditions are seen through Southerners own eyes Beautifully drawn but without a hint of proselytism.
The plot grabbed me and never let go It got me thinking What would I do if I were in that predicament One reflects upon if one should keep silent or if one should speak out the truth I loved how the story ended It is beautiful, but it isn t corny It is well drawn and care is taken to make it believable The narration by Kate Forbes is totally fantastic You simply cannot adjust speeds on your Iphone to achieve perfect tempo it is only through a talented narrator who knows when to pause and when to rush ahead that the ideal tempo is attained Forbes masters this Her southern dialect is never hard to understand and adds to one s appreciation of the author s lines Gorgeous lines and gorgeous narration Southern culture drawn with finesse Quite simply a lovely and engaging story That this book has won numerous prizes doesn t surprise me in the least Winner of the Kentucky Novel of the Year, 2003 Winner of the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers Nominee of the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize Nominee of the Book Sense Book of the Year Longlist I will be picking up books by Silas House very, very soon.
Sometimes you just want a simple story You read a book and it s so lyrical and bewitching that you can t seem to put it away And when you do, the story calls to be picked back up This was one of those books Simple, sensuous prose and a strong voice In the prologue you get to see the mysterious main character, Vine, who is said to be so beautiful that she puts a spell on the men who look at her A thin smile showed itself across her fine, curved face Her hair was divided by a perfectly straight, pale brown line down the middle of her head She did not wear plaits, but let her hair swing behind her It was so long that the ends of it were white from the dust in the sandy yard The whites of her eyes were as clear as washed eggshells.
She is Cherokee Indian The voice I speak of is that of Vine s a pure, simple, melodic tune that comes across in ungrammatical verbiage and peculiar syntax It is alluring because it is not too often that you see such commitment from a writer to his first person character perspective This a tragic love story with a fine ending It is about the harsh realities of family and community Two brothers of Irish descent, and one Cherokee woman caught between a web of lies and deceit A mountain town in Kentucky a Cherokee Indian community isolated within the town, on what is referred to as RedBud Mountain A town that considers them a threat A woman and man from both ends of the town fall in love Imagine the drama there a woman who must leave her home and settle in with a community that shuns her kind Inwardly, she struggles to keep a part of her family and heritage with her I spied a little redbud growing in the shade of the woods It was just beginning to shed its leaves and I knowed it was the wrong time to dig it up, but I had to have it I went round to Daddy s shed and got a shovel and a swatch of burlap I dug up the redbud, careful not to break the main root I was real easy with it, whispering to it the whole time I pressed damp dirt against the roots, wrapped it in burlap, then soaked it the round ball in the creek It was surprising how light it was It was so full of life, but it was no heavier than a finger I put it out onto the shed, and little rivers of water run down the boardsIf I fell in love with voice in this novel, consider me equally in love with place House s descriptions of the mountains are beautiful Maybe it is because I currently live in a mountain town not too far from where he describes I ve driven around the mountains of Kentucky and North Carolina that he writes about, and I too have been fascinated with the Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia lines that he describes Go to a store across the street and they will tell you that you re in Tennessee Head across the street again for some coffee and you re now in Virginia Fascinating When he mentions birdcall and toads mating and creeks running, and crickets and oh just the melody of the mountainside, he leaves me entranced because I m reading exactly what I hear daily and those sounds are coming through the pages at me I ve never been to to the mountain hollers where Vine stays and still, I have enough imagery that I can envision them Sometimes good stories and lessons emerge through beautiful simplicityI walked out to the tree and put my finger to a leaf, smooth like it was coated with wax I could feel its veins, wet and round I had always found comfort in the leaves, in their silence They were like a parchment that holds words of wisdom Simply holding them in my hand gave me some of the peace a tree possesses To be like that to just be that s the most noble thing of all 4.
5 stars rounded up to 5 Vine, a beautiful Cherokee woman, spent her childhood in the Kentucky mountains in the early 1900s There is a superstition that she puts curses on the lumbermen that come near her Saul, a man with an Irish heritage, falls hard for her Vine leaves her Cherokee community to become his wife and join his family When World War I begins, Saul leaves their area for a job cutting pine trees which will be used in the production of turpentine Vine is left behind to care for their young daughter Vine is upset because Saul s brother Aaron is stalking her and she feels unsafe But when she tells Saul about her fears, he will not speak to his brother about it Vine realizes that Saul s great fault is that he would always choose his family over her Eventually a confrontation occurs, and Vine keeps a secret from the rest of the family Forgiveness of others and herself is an important theme in this story.
Vine loved the natural world and she senses the presence of God when the wind rustles through the trees She misses her Cherokee family from Rosebud Camp so she planted a tiny rosebud tree at her new home Vine talked to the tree every day, willing it to live She describes the leaves, They were like parchment that holds words of wisdom Simply holding them in my hand gave me some of the peace a tree possesses To be like that to just be that s the most noble thing of all The story is also about the prejudice that some of the townspeople have against the Native Americans Silas House s great grandmother was Cherokee, and she was an inspiration for this book The author transports us to the Kentucky mountains a century ago with characters talking in the local dialect, fiddle music, poetry, and everyday events on a farm There are great descriptions of wash day, a snake bite, a pig roast, a country dance, and a Pentecostal service This book has a winning combination beautiful writing and an engaging story and would be a good selection for book clubs.
5A reader can usually rely on two strong traditions which stem from the American South solid storytelling and an authentic use of Voice This Southern writer, Silas House, is capable of both here For a younger writer, he has an unusually good grasp of Voice in his protagonist, and he weaves a story that you want to jump in and embrace.
Setting is lush here, too A Parchment of Leaves is reminiscent of both A River Runs Through It and Charles Frazier s gorgeous Cold Mountain For me, there was the added bonus of a Cherokee leading lady as well.
I have two complaints, though, and I hope they don t detract from what is good about this book This story has mainstream appeal, which I would describe as good for the writer and good for sales, but less good for me, the snobby reader who d much rather crack open Cold Mountain and read it again than recommend a lesser novel.
Also from an editing perspective this was so incredibly and unnecessarily wordy The woman s hands never shook, they shook like a willow in a breeze on a cold day in winter in the mountains A man never sat and thought about the consequences, he sat in the silence with the gold pink of dawn shining in his face while images of what he had done danced around him like wind blowing through a syca tree in the autumn.
Most writers are guilty of writing too much, not too little If I had been his editor, I d have shaved about 100 pages off of this book Sparse prose can be beautiful, people On that note, I m wrapping up this review, so I don t carry on the naughty tradition of overwriting.
Winner Kentucky Novel Of The Year, Winner Award For Special Achievement From Fellowship Of Southern WritersNominee Southern Book Critics Circle PrizeNominee booksense Book Of The Year Longlist So It Is That Vine, Cherokee Born And Raised In The Early S, Trains Her Eye On A Young White Man, Forsaking Her Family And Their Homeland To Settle In With Saul S People His Smart As A Whip, Slow To Love Mother, Esme His Brother Aaron, A Gifted Banjo Player, Hot Tempered And Unpredictable And Aaron S Flightly And Chattery Melungeon Wife, Aidia It S A Delicate Negotiation Into This New Family And Culture, One That Vine S Mother Had Predicted Would Not Go Smoothly But It S Worse Than She Could Have Imagined Vine Is Viewed As An Outsider By The Townspeople Aaron, She Slowly Realizes, Is Strangely Fixated On Her But What Is At First Difficult Becomes A Test Of Her Spirit And In The Violent Turn Of Events That Ensues, She Learns What It Means To Forgive Others And, Most Important, How To Forgive Herself I d been trying to get around to this one for some time The fact that it was voted as one of the April reads within the group On the Southern Literary Trail was just the nudge I needed How poignant that the timing just happened to be the same week that the redbud planted off our back patio was in full bloom granted the 1 3 acre subdivision plot I occupy certainly isn t within the spirit of the turn of the century Eastern Kentucky in which House describes the redbuds, flowers, creeks, meadows, hog killings, and house raisings It was a step back in time, but the primary themes are no doubt relevant to our modern world just the same For some, the author s gentle approach might not hit the endorphin receptors with enough vigor, but for me, I think he did a masterful job of writing in so many elements so subtlety You really don t become aware of how impactful the entire thing is until you have just about finished it all up Much like Clay s Quilt the story is largely a character story personally, this one was captivating The basic story line is that a Cherokee beauty who had been raised to almost flee from her heritage does just that by marrying a young local boy who had originally been sent to clear the timber from the mountainsides towering above her family s home place In leaving with her man, she says goodbye to this world, and the struggles of a normal life ensue Much than that would be spoiler.
At the heart, it is a story about family, humanity, meanness, kindness, secrets, love, infatuation, personalities, and prejudices Do bad things happen for reason of curse, chance, or perhaps to provide contrast to the great and good things of life Forgiveness is powerful, sometimes undeserved but necessary in most cases People are going to keep being mean to one another, and the trick is to decide whether to let other s poison seep into your pores or allow it to only sicken those who emit it Vine, the main character sums it up when she states It will come back on you, what you ve done, I said A person can only do so much wrong before it catches up with him Someday it will find you out 4.
5 stars that gets rounded to a 5 because of House s interest in great music he also blogs on modern folk, indie rock, and Americana music and by virtue of a great looking book cover.
I have nothing negative to say about this book It was truly excellent I always feel weird about giving five stars, feeling obligated to give some kind of constructive criticism Here Nothing I can t find one thing Believe me, I tried I don t give five stars very easily So I guess I ll talk about all the things I liked When it comes to Voice, Silas House is up there with Mark Twain I could literally hear these characters talking I now plan to read everything else he has written, based on this one book alone and his amazing talent with capturing character voice.
The descriptions were heart wrenching and beautiful I loved how House used elements of nature and the scenery to tell the story The story itself moved so slowly, so effortlessly it was a little like the seasons changing You see it happening in front of your eyes but don t realize that it happened until you look back on it That s the way I feel about this book It snuck up on me If you told someone what the book is about, the plot itself, they d probably shrug and say, Doesn t sound all that interesting But somehow, the way House writes it, it s riveting, like you ve never read anything even remotely like it in your entire life So my advice is don t even bother reading the synopsis By the end, you won t be reading it because of the plot anyway You just inexplicably won t be able to put it down.
Favorite quote I walked out to the tree and put my finger to a leaf, smooth like it was coated with wax I could feel its veins, wet and round I had always found comfort in the leaves, in their silence They were like a parchment that holds words of wisdom Simply holding them in my hand gave me some of the peace a tree possesses To be like that to just be that s the most noble thing of all p 218 This is a very good piece of Southern literature that is satisfying in a nostalgic way I could identify with Vine,the main character of Cherokee descent ,quite well as my own great grandmother was Cherokee At the heart of this book is exposure to the way racism has always been fueled by land ownership rights and the way that laws always restricted rights of persons of color while quite obviously favoring White European ancestry This book exposed me to Melungeons , a census classification of a tight knit group of people with dark skin, and black hair, that had Turkish Moorish as well as African, American Indian, and White European heritage America is after all a big melting pot I loved the way it made American history seem very personal and fueled my imagination