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Customer Reviews for

The Wake of Forgiveness

Average Rating 3.5
( 153 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(54)

3 Star

(40)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Some books are meant to be remembered; this is one of them.

This book is so well written that the words leap from the page and make you an active participant in the story, rather than a voyeur. Every page makes you think more deeply about each of the characters. They almost invite themselves to be examined.
The story begins in ...
This book is so well written that the words leap from the page and make you an active participant in the story, rather than a voyeur. Every page makes you think more deeply about each of the characters. They almost invite themselves to be examined.
The story begins in the late 1800's and continues over a span of 29 years. The lawlessness, cruelty and hardship, that the author describes is palpable and his prose so powerful that it seemed to reach out and suck me into it, making me aware of the horrors of the characters lives as if I were actually there, in the moment, witnessing what they experienced. I could almost feel the tug of the yoke on the fields, the kicks to the animals, the beatings, the labor pains of the women, and even the sadness of heartache; such was the power of the words on the page that the tension lived inside me too.
Although the subject matter is difficult because of the violence and deeply flawed characters, there is occasionally a hint of softness, kindness and a longing for tenderness. In those moments you can catch your breath.
As I continued to read, it became harder. The brutality of the book is so penetrating that I found myself hoping there would be some kind of relief, some moment of redemption for some of the characters and some kind of retribution for others so that I could feel my feet on solid ground again. I would root for one or another character's success and then reverse myself when the character study deepened.
The book creates tension from page one and interest grows with each passing page to find out what is going to happen but with the interest comes the fear of what you will eventually learn about the unpredictable, too quick to react, violently brutal and competitive characters. Although there are those gentler moments which interject some calmness and allow the reader a small respite from the constant emotional seesaw, the author pushes the envelope in every scene in which men are interacting with each other.
Having finished the book, I can only come to one conclusion. It may be hard to read it because of its darkness, but read it you must, because this author has the power to make the words on the page live; this book is truly alive; it breathes with every breath caught in your throat as what you read seizes you with surprise and/or mystifies you as you become more and more enmeshed in the tale, completely in awe of the power of the written word and enrapt by the characters lives and travails.
This book is so well worth the effort to read. It would really lend itself to the analysis of a discussion group. There are endless topics to discuss, women's rights, physical abuse, equal rights, love and loss, dysfunctional family relationships, heartbreak, uncontrolled violence, vengeance, redemption, and forgiveness just to name a few. An analysis of the writer's style and his ability to almost take the reader hostage, would be rewarding, as well.
My recommendation is steel yourself and read it.

posted by thewanderingjew on September 19, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Difficult time getting into this book

I am an avid reader but I had a very hard time getting into this book. It was probably because I didn't like the characters. I thought most of the men were cruel and the story was harsh and a little slow. I enjoy finding new authors but I didn't really care for this sto...
I am an avid reader but I had a very hard time getting into this book. It was probably because I didn't like the characters. I thought most of the men were cruel and the story was harsh and a little slow. I enjoy finding new authors but I didn't really care for this story or author.

posted by blugrasgroupie on October 15, 2010

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Forgive me, but.....

    I had the opportunity to read "The Wake of Forgiveness" by Bruce Machart, as a part of Barnes & Noble's First Look program. As much as I wanted to enjoy reading this book, I had a very hard time reading it. I did not form a connection with any of the characters. If I cannot form any connection to them, I have a difficult time with the book. Every time I tried to pick up TWoF to read, I found that I couldn't. Perhaps it just was not the time for me to read this book. I will try again, at some point.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    Not my cup of Tea . . . .

    The writing prose of the author was somewhat difficult to follow. I had to stop often to look up passages since most of the writing is <somewhat> reflective of an era gone by writing. The book jumps back and forth to previous times and locations thru-out.

    The characters were just plain 'nasty' and not positive at all. Sad read and not very optimistic in the least bit. The artwork is great & catchy. The characters seem a bit too opportunistic and extreme for my understanding.
    Relationships in this book are so stressed makes one wonder 'how did they manage without killing each other?'
    Sad read....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    just not into it

    This was one I just couldn't get into. There's a backwards time jump early on that really threw me off. Usually I have no problem with books that do that, but I feel this one didn't have enough action/characters not appearing in both times to differentiate the time periods. The time jump took me out of the story and I had trouble getting back into it. Furthermore, I never connected with the characters (no sympathy from me) and wasn't invested in the plot at all.

    I read this as part of the First Look program.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Abandoned

    Ugh, I've tried three times and I just don't think I'll be able to finish this one. It captured my interest in the beginning but then my interest started to wane. Finally, after 130+ pages, I decided the book's underlying tone is much too angry for what I'm looking for right now. I'm not too fond of the main character which would be okay if the other characters were more developed but at this point, they aren't. Sadly, I hate to toss an ARC but they do want my honest opinion and here it is. To be fair, if I was able to read this book w/o interruption the result may have been different but unfortunately that wasn't the case. Usually, I enjoy books that jump around in time, but with this one the transitions felt too disjointed and hard to follow. Will put it in my pile for guy friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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