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July 2012 Feature of the Month: Family Sagas

A monthly discussion on varying themes guided by our members. (Book of the Month discussions through December 2011 can be found in this section too.)
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boswellbaxter
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July 2012 Feature of the Month: Family Sagas

Post by boswellbaxter » Sun July 1st, 2012, 3:22 am

Madeleine will be getting us started on July's Feature of the Month--Family Sagas. Thanks, Madeleine!
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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Amanda
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Post by Amanda » Sun July 1st, 2012, 7:12 am

I love family sagas! I'll be looking for more recommendations.

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Madeleine
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Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
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Post by Madeleine » Sun July 1st, 2012, 12:50 pm

Thank you for the intro, Boswellbaxter!

Here are a few suggestions from Goodreads:

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworth
The Loveday novels by Kate Tremayne
The Poldark novels by Winston Graham
The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard
The Morland Dynasty series by Cynthia Harrold Eagles

Various novels by Catherine Cookson, Maeve Binchy, Colleen McCullough, possibly Joanna Trollope and Susan Howatch.

And a suggestion from GR which made me giggle - George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, well I suppose you could say it's about families! By the same token you could have Sharon Kay Penman's Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy - I think both sets could be classified as a Devil's Brood!

My own choice is Adam Loveday by Kate Tremayne.

Hope you enjoy whatever you choose to read.
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Sun July 1st, 2012, 3:19 pm

John Jakes' Kent family saga, following a family from the American Revolution to 1890, was one of my favorites from way back when:

The Bastard (1974)
The Rebels (1975)
The Seekers (1975)
The Furies (1976)
The Titans (1976)
The Warriors (1977)
The Lawless (1978)
The Americans (1979)
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Sun July 1st, 2012, 3:27 pm

I think SKP's books about the Plantagenets is the perfect example of family sagas!!

I also liked John Jake's North and South series.
Brenna

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun July 1st, 2012, 4:30 pm

Oooh, a topic near and dear to my heart.

There's Susan Howatch's *Plantagenet* trilogy, Penmarric, Cashelmara & Wheel of Fortune. All are stand alones.

The Wild Swan Trilogy by Celeste de Blasis. Wild Swan, Swan's Chance and A Season of Swans. Begins in England, but moves to Maryland. Goes through the Civil War and IIRC ends around the turn of the century.

The Proud Breed by Celeste de Blasis. Old Caliornia through end of 19C. Fabulous.

The Kirov trilogy by Cynthia Harrod Eagles. Anna, Fleur and Emily. Loved these, great blend of history and romance.

I've only read the first one, but the Windhaven books appear to qualify. Focused around a family plantation in Alabama. The first book covers the family's founder and his building a home in the then wilderness. Starts around 1790 and from the blurbs I think ends around the end of the 19C.
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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Sun July 1st, 2012, 4:51 pm

Thanks for those other suggestions. I suppose you could also have Sara Donati's Wilderness series, and yes, I forgot to mention North and South.

I've now changed my choice - as I couldn't find it! - to the second in the Poldark series, Demelza.
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun July 1st, 2012, 5:33 pm

Seventrees by Janice Young Brooks is a three generational story set in Kansas. A bit HTF at a reasonable price last time I checked.

I'm in the middle of DeepWater by Pamela Jekel and I think this will qualify. North Carolina/Cape Fear, from early colonial period through Civil War, focused around three women from the same family.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sun July 1st, 2012, 6:12 pm

At one time - and still to an extent, the family saga in the UK was a massive and lucrative genre - frequently about working class women toiling their way up the ladder through sheer guts and grit. They used to be mostly set in the 19thC and early 20th but there is now a trend to move them up to WWII and after.

A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford is a best selling example of the breed.
I recently enjoyed Netherwood by Jane Sanderson and The Promise by Lesley Pearce - both good examples of the type.

Also try Annie Groves (pen name of the recently deceased Penny Jordan)
Anna Jacobs (Lancashire sagas)
Benita Brown - Tyneside
Rosie Harris
Jean Fullerton (London East End).
Les proz e les vassals
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Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

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rockygirl
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Post by rockygirl » Mon July 2nd, 2012, 12:11 am

The Dutchman Series by Maan Meyers--This series follows a Dutch family from New Amsterdam in 1630s through the New York of 1920s. The series skips some generations, as it tries to emphasize important times in New York city history. Most of the series is out of print. It's relatively easy to find, however. I think some parts of the series are now ebooks. These books are historical mysteries.

On Gold Mountain by Lisa See--This book is a true family saga. See tells the story of her family's immigration from China to California, and how each generation fared. I've read it several times. This was See's first book. She is mostly known for her fiction (some mysteries, some historical fiction) now.

I haven't really read a lot of family sagas, so I'll be interested in seeing what everyone recommends.
Currently reading Cocaine Blues.

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