Book Review: The Life and Times of Charles Leonard Holton

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Life and Times of Charles Leonard HoltonThe Life and Times of Charles Leonard Holton
by Joan A. Hunter. CreateSpace. 2016. 412 pages.

Life and Times of Charles Holton is a benchmark title for family history books. The book is big, measures 8 ½ x 11 inches in size, at least one inch thick, and heavy. Once you open the book, you’ll appreciate why.

It’s a well-written family history book. It’s composed in an easy-to-read style, written as a story, not in a dry straightforward genealogical study, but as a reader-friendly narrative form that unveils the lives of her pioneer families.

Dialogue adds to the novella aura of the story. Dialogue that is well-substantiated by Ms. Hunter having had access to an enviable collection of personal diaries and letters authored by the persons she writes about. This narration is a testament to the merit of examining personal letters and papers and bringing their reports and observations forward into today where we can sense their time and place.

Ms. Hunter’s families lived predominantly in Massachusetts, and much of her story takes place there. Her studies of New England history and culture broaden the story, add depth to the region, and pique our historical interests. The best family histories bring to mind a sense of the times, the geography, the politics, the recreational pastimes, the religious fervors, the educational opportunities, and the unique experiences of the people within the context of their circumstances.

I admire Ms. Hunter’s talent for turning genealogy into an engaging family chronicle.

The Life and Times of Charles Leonard Holton by Joan A. Hunter is available from CreateSpace at https://www.createspace.com/6061144 as well as from Amazon at https://goo.gl/hXLgE7.

2 Comments

I might check this out, though I don’t think we have common ancestors. I’m currently trying to write my own book but can’t figure out an easy to read way to do it. This might give me some inspiration. Thanks for the review!

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Melissa, although I didn’t write this as a how-to-write your family history book, it does demonstrate how any genealogist/family historian can use their own family’s memorabilia along with their own genealogical research to recreate the life and times of their ancestor(s). Think of this book as an example of how to write your own book.

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