Monday, November 8, 2010

The Randolph Women and Their Men

Ruth Doumlele

The Randolph Women and Their Men paints a rich and vivid portrait of a post-Revolution life in the South on the scale of Gone With the Wind--only this story is true.  A professional historian, Ruth Doumlele has cleverly woven the many lives of the famous and infamous of that time into one seamless narrative.  While the Randolph's hold center stage, their exploits bring them together with those influential people--such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison--who determined out nation's legacy.

Not only does Doumlele bring to life the significant events of those turbulent years, she also provides a scintillating view of the private lives of the privileged.  Incest, betrayal, unrequited love--this book reveals the sometimes shocking, often poignant, always fascinating details of these remarkable women and their men.

My Take: 

If you are familiar with the Bible, do you remember reading some of those chapters that seemed to only say "so and so begat so and so who begat so and so"?  Well, that is how quite a bit of this book felt.  Many of the stories were very scandalous and interesting, but in between there was a lot of Bible style "begatting", or in other words, dry history of who got married and who their children were.  Another problem I had with the book, was that it was extremely difficult to remember who was who.  Practically everyone has the same last name, because it is about the Randolph family, but so many people are talked about so quickly, that it was very difficult to separate one person from another.  Maybe if each member of the family had been introduced little by little, the reader could have gotten to know them and they'd been easier to differentiate early on.  Sometimes, when reading a story about a certain scandal, I wouldn't remember to be scandalized, because I couldn't remember who was married to who.  After a while I started to get the hang of it, but it was very tiring in the mean time.  I think this would be a great book for history buffs, and not one for the casual history reader.  The book was meticulously researched, which is always a plus in my book, and the writing was quite skilled, and in the end, I did enjoy the book.  3, Find a Used Book Store

Do you agree with my review?  Do you think I'm totally off base?  Either way I'd love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If The Randolph Women and Their Men were a movie, it would likely be rated PG-13, for some of the adult subject matter

***FTC Disclosure:  This book was provided in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***

If you are interested in purchasing The Randolph Women and Their Men, please consider supporting The Book Buff by purchasing from the following Amazon link, thank you!


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