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Into the Heartland: A Sweeping Saga of…
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Into the Heartland: A Sweeping Saga of Passion, Struggle, and Triumph (utgåvan 2021)

av Jack Casey (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1710999,111 (3.11)8
Medlem:Sue.Mc
Titel:Into the Heartland: A Sweeping Saga of Passion, Struggle, and Triumph
Författare:Jack Casey (Författare)
Info:Diamonds Big As Radishes, LLC (2021), 404 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:***
Taggar:Historical Fiction, United States

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Into the Heartland: A Sweeping Saga of Passion, Struggle, and Triumph av Jack Casey

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This was a very interesting historical read. I had no idea about the Erie Canal, and what a joke they thought DeWitt Clinton was – the mastermind behind this whole endeavor. Maybe he was a little ahead of his time, but he saw the future, he saw opportunity and he was not going to give up without a battle. Even a war could not stop him form pursuing the dream of opening travel, infrastructure and connection to the West for all to utilize, no matter what it took.

DeWitt Clinton needs a lot of support, funds and man power to accomplish such a heroic task. Miles upon miles of land, swamp, lake, valleys will have to be scouted and reconstructed to create his vision. He knows this will be what it takes to raise New York to a city of riches with having a connection to this canal and being a hub import and export to the West. But he needs backing, and he does not have much. The harder he pushes, the more he seems to lose for backing except for one true friend, Eleanora Van Rensselaer.

Eleanora is a recent widow, she has a vase estate and inherited much wealth with the death of her husband. She believes in Clinton. She is also of a visionary and can see what Clinton is trying to build, trying to secure in the future of America, but when Clinton enlists the help of a surveyor and ship captain, Daniel Hedges, Eleanora might not be able to keep her head straight and her secrets buried.

It is quite amazing that they had been able to eventually build this canal. It took well over a decade but it was worth it in the end. Not even a the War of 1812 was able to end the project. I found this a fascinating read with all of the odd characters that ended up being involved to help Clinton see this through. I really enjoyed reading about the obstacles at the time, they had to overcome as well as how outside of the box Van Rensselaer, Clinton and Hedges really thought to accomplish this great canal.

Thank you to the author, Jack Casey for the free book and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the invite. I look forward to reading Jack’s other novels, as this one had lots of history, but it had great storylines as well. ( )
  Chelz286 | Apr 18, 2021 |
1810, America. Lady Eleanora Van Rensselaer is twenty-two and a widow. She has the connections needed to construct a waterway through the wilderness to Lake Erie. Will political plots lead her to love?

For the sake of honesty, I didn't finish this book. I didn't even get a quarter of the way through this because I was so very uncomfortable. The book begins with our leading lady, Eleanora, listening to her maid confess her love for a groom. From her characterization, the maid is very young and naive. Eleanora called her 'poor lamb' and 'my pet', and constantly touched the girl's cheek. It came across as very inappropriate and I couldn't stand to read it.

So I left the story for a few weeks and then came back. I forged ahead a little more, trying to ignore how uncomfortable Lady Eleanora's treatment of her servant made me. Nothing recommended her as an admirable character and I couldn't find anything that I liked about her.

When I reached the point of Eleanora being relieved to remove her tightly laced whalebone corset (followed by her rubbing her breasts) I had to walk away again. I will not force myself to read something that makes me so uncomfortable and got that small historical detail wrong.

I am clearly not the target audience for this book and I would not recommend it. I received a free copy through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program and all opinions expressed are my own. ( )
  TheQuietReader | Mar 26, 2021 |
This novel is a re-issue for e-book of “A Land Beyond the River”, originally published in 1988. It tells the story of the building of the Erie Canal, as told through the eyes of Eleanora Van Rensselaer, a wealthy widow with restless ambition, and Daniel Hedges, a ship captain, boat builder and man of many practical talents who lives on the “frontier” at what would become Buffalo, NY. It focuses largely on the political intrigues involved in the canal project, pitting DeWitt Clinton against Martin VanBuren.

As a reader, I am in two minds about the story. The political tale was intriguing and well-told. I found myself wishing for more detail on the actual perils of construction. These were strangely glossed over, except for a section involving the plague of malaria among the work crews at one point. The personal story of the relationship between the fictional characters of Eleanora and Daniel was the weak point of the book. Eleanora, as a character, was unsympathetic and often inexplicable. Daniel fared a bit better, when on his own dealing with the canal or with the War of 1812. When he was dealing with Eleanora, he was as unconvincing as she.

Overall, it was an interesting novel, if not a stellar one.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  tealadytoo | Mar 24, 2021 |
This was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading. I enjoy historical fiction and wanted to learn more about the building of the Erie Canal and its effect on the people involved. I did find the book difficult to get into at first. However, it picks up the pace a few chapters in and I enjoyed the relationship between Eleanora and Daniel as it’s set against the political maneuverings and social customs of the time. Part history, part romance, it’s a fascinating look at this particular time in America. ( )
1 rösta Sue.Mc | Mar 22, 2021 |
Book Review: Into the Heartland, Jack Casey (2021)
Reviewed by: Patricia M. Muhammad
Date: March 20, 2021

*Contains Spoilers*

It is the 19th century, a time where many migrated west, European immigrants flooded the northeast and expansion for those who desired greater prosperity seemed limitless. In the state of New York, a few enterprising individuals decide to proceed towards a land escapade to build a canal connecting New York, Pennsylvania and the Atlantic. The proposed project is the Erie canal and the risk is huge. Land is the greatest commodity of wealth, and those who seek to convince others to support it speak of the potential viability of mercantile trade that this navigable route could provide. This, both political and social sponsors assert will likely be the new avenue towards wealth.

The main players in the scheme are Eleanora Rensselaer, Van Buren and Clinton and a man who lives a simple life with his wife and family, Daniel Hedges. Each one uses their abilities, whether it is being a landowning socialite, a politician or one who understands how the working man thinks to gather support. Eleanora is a widow who has kept the condition of retaining her merged lands a secret from most. The author describes her beauty, her dress as being extraordinary, but with this is she is haunted by the burden—the need for a new husbandry. She often fights temptation and sometimes just as she is about to capitulate to her natural desire for a man, she is rarely rejected. Van Buren and Clinton are judge and attorney general. There are the primary actors within the local political arena of New York society. There are two major events that the author details regarding the proposed canal, the War of 1812, which is a disrupter to all that is usual and seeking support for an appropriations bill in Washington, D.C. The war causes Daniel, who had already inclined to Eleanora, to lose his wife in children to the British. It also causes a delay in "digging the ditch." Jack Casey details a six year trek in which opponents, supporters and those who had the most to financially gain worked against and towards the fruition of the project. Eleanora seems most interested in maintaining her status, both politically and financially. Politics is messy and those who wished to gain power or increase it are willing to slander and malign anyone who steps in their path—even if it is a woman. Van Buren approaches Eleanora's brother in law who is most legally eligible to challenger her current holdings of merged lands.

Throughout the story, she clings onto the vast property (and deeds), Claverack, as if it defined her, and in some ways it did. Her relationship with Daniel does not begin in the most puritanical sense. Eleanora is a troubled one, and Daniel, a good-natured man seems to be less conflicted with his feelings for her even before his wife, Carrie died. The author surprisingly includes a relationship with such indiscretion for the 19th century and one wonders whether the budding romance has any significance to the primary plot—the building of the canal. It does, but not towards the last few chapters in which the story seems to accelerate. Eleanora understands what her freedom means when circumstances forces her to. Earlier in the book, she is explaining to her daughter Kate that women (white) are bound by the laws of some dead man regarding the rules of inheritance as it pertains to women. One can clearly understand how land ownership, even for a woman was the primary method to be a respectable citizen and wield such influence in politics and social life. It is not until the courts become involved due to Van Buren's interference and she is compelled to see the court order of ejectment that she allows herself to feel what she always had—for Daniel. There is one point that, despite losing her land and the hope that her representative vowing to have her at least retain her dower, she explains to Daniel that she is finally happy. Eleanora accepts her feelings for him while Daniel had never denied his. She believes that he is to reject her because she upheld her material gain above their adoration for one another. He suspected she withheld something and that her reluctance to proceed with their relationship during the project was due to another matter—and he was right.

The reader will sense that the author, Jack Casey, has an immense knowledge of how land ownership is conveyed, especially when he uses the 19th century explanation of what those with real estate experience now understand as the 'Rule Against Perpetuities' (to the legal beavers out there). The text is detailed and thoroughly researched into matters of political strategy and the history of 19th century politics. However, when I initially read the synopsis of the book, I considered the potential for an ode to John Steinbeck's style. Though the author did not meet this expectation, Jack Casey defines 𝐼𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐻𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑑 with his own recollective style of historical fiction with intersperses of romance. Campaigns, backdoor deals, mobs of the masses and the potential for a lucrative future for those who support the canal are at the ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑡 of this book. Yet, in the end, the reader receives the warmth of the one character who appeared to be one of the most aloof, Eleanora, who finally has the happiness her reluctant heart desires. ( )
1 rösta pmmuhammad | Mar 20, 2021 |
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