Reunions and Reviews…

The past two Saturdays I’ve been involved with two reunions—my 50-year high school reunion (Soquel High) and a family reunion that Jennie and I hosted at our house (all descendants of my grandfather). Both affairs were enjoyable. I got to visit with people that I’ve been close to for many years, many of whom I haven’t seen in quite a while. Good food, good wine, and good conversation accompanied both events.

What I found gratifying was that many friends and family members told me they bought my book. Some had read it in its entirety, some had started reading it, and some had it sitting by their nightstand with plans to open it soon. I answered the usual questions about the plot, my research, the motivation for taking on such a project, and the process of actually putting words to page. A few people took the occasion to tell me about a book they were thinking about writing or suggested I read a novel they had just read and loved. This is human nature, and I took their orations not as egocentrism, but as merely friendly conversation.

A few other people really wanted to discuss the book at length, delving into some of my characters and questioning me about certain facts of history and the politics of the late nineteenth century. Because the answers (if in fact, I knew any) would occupy too much time, I politely deflected these inquiries by promising to discuss them at a later date. Too many people to see, so little time to do so!

An old high school friend told me he wrote a review on Amazon. Others have said as much but their reviews never appeared. (You have to have an Amazon account to write a review). The next morning, I checked my book page on the Amazon site, and lo and behold, there was a very fine five-star review from my classmate. It made me happy, and I smiled inwardly. Thanks so much!

I’m a big fan of historical novels and this is one great book. I’m enough of a history buff to know the research was meticulous and spot- on. Most California history skips over the indigenous people and early Spanish Missions and settlements and starts with early American settlement and the California Gold Rush. Not this book. It begins with the original indigenous people and early Spanish settlement. The Indian characters become real-life people in the readers eyes. The existence and survival of their tribes becomes a very real concern for the reader. The Spanish and other characters are done just as much justice….
A satisfying and fun read.

Scott Gregory/Sherrie Bennett

Image: Illustration and text from Five Hundred Moons

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