Garfield's Train

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Overview

Garfield's Train is a novel of the New Jersey Shore, when Long Branch was the "Gilded Strand" of the Gilded Age. The wealthiest families in the country built elaborate 30-room cottages along the seacoast, frequented the casinos and racetracks, and lived the good life. Then President James Garfield was shot by an assassin in 1881. He lingered in pain for three months, and was finally brought to Long Branch to die. The fictional Dunbar family interacts with a supporting cast of General Grant, Roscoe Conkling, James...

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More About This Book

Overview

Garfield's Train is a novel of the New Jersey Shore, when Long Branch was the "Gilded Strand" of the Gilded Age. The wealthiest families in the country built elaborate 30-room cottages along the seacoast, frequented the casinos and racetracks, and lived the good life. Then President James Garfield was shot by an assassin in 1881. He lingered in pain for three months, and was finally brought to Long Branch to die. The fictional Dunbar family interacts with a supporting cast of General Grant, Roscoe Conkling, James G. Blaine, Susan B. Anthony, and of course, the whole Garfield family, recreating the bygone era of Long Branch's proudest hours.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413769159
  • Publisher: Publish America
  • Publication date: 7/25/2005
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2006

    Take a trip on Garfield's Train

    Some friendships last for years. Some may last a lifetime. Friendships, even in fiction, that span history and bridge the gap into five generations are rare and special. ¿In August, 1947, I traveled by train across the country with my grandmother. The telegram had come two days before. Mollie Brown was dying and calling for Gran, her oldest and dearest friend. Gran was going, willy or nilly.¿ Thus begins Kate¿s journey through the history of her grandmother¿s family, the Dunbars, as they interact with some of the characters that make up American History. Along the way Kate meets many fascinating people, including Presidents, Generals and Senators. She learns the Dunbar family secrets and along the way, much about herself. When the train arrives in Pasadena, Kate is amazed by the life left in a lady said to be on her deathbed and her brothers: ¿It was hard to believe that five elderly people could generate such genuine merriment- and noise.¿ Soon Mollie is gone, and Kate and her grandmother begin the trip home. Only then does Louise reveal that Mollie was the daughter of a president- Garfield, and tells the rest of the story. Stories are our dearest heritage. With each new generation, stories are born, live and die. The stories we cherish, care for over our lifetimes, and pass on like family heirlooms define us, and allow our influence to live on into the next generation. Kate says of her grandmother: ¿She wasn¿t telling me to pass the time she wanted another living soul to know these things.¿ My recommendation? Curl up with a cup of cocoa on a rainy, grey day, and take a trip on Garfield¿s train. I give this a Muse review rating of Good for it¿s slow pace, but recommend it as a rainy day afternoon read for anyone interested in American history. Mary Schneider, Muse Book Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2006

    Two Thumbs Up!

    GARFIELD¿S TRAIN is the wonderful story of the Dunbar family, who lived in Long Branch, New Jersey during the time when Long Branch was the town where many wealthy and famous people summered. The late nineteenth century is the setting for this family history and story within that story of the lifelong friendship between two extraordinary women of the time. The Dunbar family history and story of this friendship is told to us by Kate, the granddaughter of the now elderly Louise Dunbar, as she accompanies her grandmother in 1947 on a train trip to visit her dying friend, Mollie Brown. During the train ride back, Louise reveals to Kate that Mollie is actually the daughter of President James A. Garfield, the 20th president of the United States, who was shot three months after entering office and died three months later. Louise tells Kate the story of her fascinating friendship with Mollie through the years, as well as about her own upbringing in Long Branch when it was in its heyday. She has wonderful stories to tell about the famous people vacationing there that she and her family knew personally. The tales she tells weave their course through the historical events taking place both before Garfield¿s nomination and after his election, through the attempted assassination, and Garfield¿s final three months in Long Branch, where he was brought to die. In their telling, we become acquainted with the entire Garfield family, and other notable people of that time, such as General Grant, Roscoe Conkling, General Sherman, James G. Blaine, General Sherman, and Susan B. Anthony. We learn quite a bit about the actual lives of the historical individuals. Ms. Foster¿s careful attention to details and wonderful way with words vividly brings to life the people and sights and sounds of this time and place in America¿s history. I really enjoyed reading GARFIELD¿S TRAIN! It is one of those hard-to-find books that is both educational AND a delight to read. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading juicy stories about family relationships and friendships and also would not mind learning about some generally not well-known events in American history!

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