Customer Reviews for

On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2010

    Excellent Novel with Complex Themes

    This novel is definitely for those who know something about the American Civil War, though you could enjoy it without specific knowledge. It is the archetypal historical fiction that calls to anyone who is interested in either history or how people dealt with historical situations. The author uses her characters to help the reader understand what is happening, but also to pull them into the lives of those characters. By the end of the novel you will be crying and laughing with Emma to the very last page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    An Afternoon's Read

    A book about the American Civil War, much of which is a standard grab bag of fictional antebellum plantation life. We're treated to the overbearing father, long-suffering mother, weak-willed brother and, of course, the indomitable house slave who takes charge of both house and family. Not much new. The real reason to read On Occasion is for its vivid protrayal of the hospital scenes during the war. I couldn't help recalling the famous shot in Gone With the Wind, in which the camera pulls back from on high, showing us an ever-widening scene of wounded and dying soldiers, row by grisly row. That scene takes place outside an Atlanta hospital. Gibbons takes us inside a Raleigh hospital where we're given an up-close view of shattered bodies, the tragic outfall of the war. This is the book's most powerful section. Unfortunately, the rest gets watered down by the heroine's calm, overly measured narration. It's a voice of emotional detachment and not terribly interesting. She is perfect, her husband is perfect, her daughters are perfect. All in all, On Occasion is a perfectly pleasant 'afternoon' read, hopefully not your last, but there's not a lot here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2003

    This was my favorite from Kaye Gibbons

    I enjoyed the journey through Emma's extraordinary life. Emma was my favorite of all of Ms Gibbon's characters. I do find that all the fathers in Ms Gibbon's stories are of the worst sort, save Emma's loving husband Dr. Lowell. I love this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2001

    student doing a project

    I thought this was a really good book, but I found it hard to understand. The person telling the story (Emma Garnet) has a scattered mind and is hard to follow at times. I think this book is better for older readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2001

    Kaye Gibbons Is An Excellent Storyteller

    Have you ever read a book and wondered what happened to the characters? Not this book! Kaye Gibbons takes us through the extrordinary life of our heroine, Emma Garnet Tate Lowell. Finishing this book, all questions are answered and there is a sense of fulfillment. Emma is an inspiring heroine. She is more concerned with her books and ideas than her reflection in the mirror. How refreshing! Thank you, Ms. Gibbons. Just as Ellen Foster has stayed close to my heart, Emma will remain with me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2001

    Wonderful and mesmerizing

    This book gives the reader the impression that a loving grandmother really IS recounting her past 80 years. I was entranced with the perspective of Emma Garnet. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has interest in the Civil War or the 19th Century in Raleigh or the South.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2001

    good, perhaps but lacking in continuous action

    This book was, no doubt, excellent . However it was very lacking in continuous action to compell the reader to read on . Even if there was action, it was buried in an overdose of figurative language and oceans of Emma's useless thoughts and speculations that lead you off topic very easily . Very soon, I found my self reading, not a novel, but thousands of scattered words that took hours to comprehend . Although literal comprehension is one of my strong points, I found it difficult in this book . I suppose that if you got into the main story, you would come to enjoy this book very much . However, I do not reccomend a 13 year old (such as myself) to read this book . You will only find one thing interesting about this book, and that is the perculiar dreams that arise when you fall asleep with your head buried in the book .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

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