There was shock, destruction, and death. War loomed. Americans veered toward either hopelessness, fear, and hate or toward vision, faith, and rebuilding.
They asked, "Could life in America ever be great again?"
In the midst of these distressing times, Nate started his career. He left his home in Baltimore, Maryland to become a manager of the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California. It was there that criminals framed him for their theft of gold coins from the Expo.
Nate fled the criminals and the corrupt police.
Kelly fled the people who murdered her mother.
When Nate and Kelly run into each other in a small town in Central California at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, their lives become entangled with each other and with the horrible realities of hatred and evil.
They discover, as everyone does eventually, that the meaning of life is all about starting over.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Michael R. Barnard's credentials as a writer of screenplays, a director and a producer serve him very well indeed in this hypnotizing story NATE AND KELLY. Reading this astutely investigated and documented novel that combines historical data with a created love story seems to have several foci in mind: Barnard wants us to be in the moment of critical times in US and world history to make us feel the impact on the populace the way very few other history books have and that is the reason for keeping the narrative in the present voice in stead of a reflective past voice much the way a script for a film being made functions; he wants us to be able to relate to the effects of these traumas of our history by placing characters with whom we can relate as our narrators (again, like a director's guidance in making a film); and he appears to want the reader to keenly understand that the parallels of the actions of those people that made the events of history happen are almost synchronous with the demagogues and wild men and events of today. Without a lengthy introduction Barnard establishes that characters who will unravel this epic for us and then plunges us into the turn of the century events that changed the world forever - from the great fires in cities to the earthquake that devastated San Francisco to the opening of the Panama Canal to World War I and all that accompanied these twists and turns in our history. The characters that surround our main character Nate are so closely related tot he politicians and world leaders of today that treading Nate's fate and progress feels strangely relevant and thus terrifying. And in the midst of al f this historical reenactment he settles us in for a bizarre love story whose permutations growing out of the events as they transpire between Nate and Kelly offer up what is destined to make a very fine film! Michael R. Bernard may be presenting us with a first novel in NATE AND KELLY but he writes with such polished quality that his career as a novelist seems rather assured. One minor criticism: the inclusion of photographs taken during the historic events cited, wile interesting in and of themselves, seem like extraneous and (for this reader) interfering need for validation of the written word when the writing of the events is so pictorial that the photos seem redundant. I suppose that too is a compliment! Grady Harp
Nate and Kelly captured my interest from the very beginning! It is not too often that I come across a historical novel that I feel the need to share with a friend, but I have already passed on my copy of Nate and Kelly. As an educator, I am always searching for period pieces that I can use to elaborate on life in America, and I have found that Nate and Kelly will be useful in my lesson planning. Buy yourself a copy of Nate and Kelly, and you will be glad you did.
When I started reading "Nate and Kelly" I wasn't sure what to expect as I usually can't get interested in historical fiction. This book was different though pulling me into the action until I had trouble putting it down. I wanted to just keep reading. Set in the early 20th century "Nate and Kelly" examines the fear and hatred consuming the lives of society and how demagogues used these prejudices in order to gain power. Nate, a businessman trying to make a start at the Panama Pacific International Exposition, finds himself pulled into a world of crime as he is framed for the disappearance of gold coins. Running for his life he meets Kelly, a prostitute who also ran from the same evil men, and falls in love. They soon find that the hatred they were running from is alive in this small town as well as violence erupts around them engulfing them in its evil arms. Nate tries to explain it with "It's easier to blame entire groups than to deal with human beings as individuals". This novel, so well penned by Michael R. Barnard, makes you ponder the problems of society we live in today. When told he is a "good man" for trying to help in one horrible situation, Chester, a minor character, replies "I ain't no 'good man'. Good men do nothing. That's why there's so much evil". We're now in the early 21st century, a hundred years later, and I have to wonder how much progress we as a society have made in those hundred years. Technology continues to soar ahead but our problems continue to be there. Maybe too many of us are trying to be "good men". I highly recommend this powerful historical fiction, "Nate and Kelly", by Michael R. Barnard.