Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Journey of Voices, Stewards of the Land

Book Description: Stewards of the Land is the second book in Diane McAdams Gladow's nonfiction series about common, ordinary families who lived American History and in some cases helped to make it. This book tells the story of the Crume family by interweaving old letters, pictures, land documents, Bible records, and historical references with an account of the family's life and movement through seven generations. The story of this family is truly the story of American history from 1746 to 1946 and the story of American agricultural life and how it changed over two hundred years. 

I honestly thought I would love this book. I have been researching my genealogy for more than 10 years and love reading old documents and information. This book, however, just did not capture my attention or imagination. It was almost like an enhanced software generated genealogy report. This person was born here, lived here, moved here, with facts and dates. Had anyone in the book been a member of my ancestry, it would have been much more interesting, although as a genealogy book it also would fall short because of the supposition sprinkled throughout. There were quite a few statements made with “may have felt” or “Perhaps this was the reason…”, in which the author tried to imagine what happened or how the person felt.
Some of the letters were interesting, but then some were just about resting over a holiday, taking a train ride, or a sore foot. The most interesting information in the book is the shirt-tail connection to Abraham Lincoln. While there is a generation list of the Crume family, a surname index would have been very helpful. I think the key words in the book description are "ordinary people".


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