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The Able McLaughlins Paperback – 1 Sep 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Cherokee Publishing Company (GA) (1 Sept. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877972885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877972884
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,487,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
A Neglected Masterpiece 6 Dec. 2003
By Jerry Kelley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a hard-to-find treasure that has been neglected by critics and the general public. As a 1924 Pulitzer Prize winner it shows the unmistakable character of excellence that caught the eyes of the committee eighty years ago. The story represents the very definition of what the jury is to look for in a novel, "the wholesome atmosphere of American life..." The setting is mid-century 1800s. Wully McLaughlin, a member of a Scots community in frontier Iowa, is alarmed by the behavior of his sweetheart when he returns from battle in the Civil War. I'm at a loss to understand how this gem could be so roundly neglected. I consider this work to be well deserving of its award and a must read for the serious reader of American literature.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"When marrying, ask yourself..if..you would be able to converse with this person in old age." 17 Sept. 2010
By michael a. draper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The time of this Pulitzer Prize winning story is toward the conclusion of the Civil War. Families are receiving notifications about the death, injury or capture of their loved ones.

Wully McLaughlin returns to his parents' farm after escaping from the Confederates where he had been taken prisoner. In some of Wully's war memories there is similarity to "The Red Badge of Courage."

Wully visits a neighbor's home while home and sees Christie McNair. The two of them become fond of each other and Wully takes this to mean a future wedding.

When the war ends and Wully returns home, he immediately goes to see Christie but she won't look at him in the face and her coldness shocks Wully.

Not giving up and feeling that Christie is the only one for him, he returns to her farm secretly and finds her crying on her porch.

Unable to figure things out, Wully is on the road home when he meets a distant cousin, Peter Keith. Peter tells Wully that he asked Christie to marry him when Wully was away. The two men have an argument and Wully finally realizes that Peter had taken advantage of Christie. After their disagreement, Peter leaves the area.

Knowing why Christie was acting the way she was, Wully returns to her home and the author tells the manner in which he tries to win Christie back and make things right. The reader also learns what Wully and his parents do so that there is no ill feelings for Christie and her pregnancy.

The novel offers a good description of the hardship of frontier life and the settlers difficulty in establishing their homes in this area. There is a particularly well told part of the story detailing a woman of wealth from Scotland becoming married to a farmer and when she arrives at his farm, she realizes that she would be living in a place little better than a pig sty.

I enjoyed the story and the manner in which the author told about live and the hardships of the times. I did feel that the story meandered a bit and was overly long but overall, I recommend the book.
20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A Best Forgotten Pulitzer Winner 17 May 2005
By C. Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read this novel because it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1924. After reading it I've come to the conclusion 1923 must have been a pretty bad year for good novels or the Pulitzer Prize jury was out to lunch. This is one of most over dramatic, over written, boring novels I've read in some time. The prose is turgid, the characterization is poor, and the plot borders on the unbelievable.

Wully McLaughlin comes home wounded from the Civil War and while there falls in love at first sight with Christie. The last time Wully saw Christie she was a small girl but now she's an all grown up beauty. Wully secures her promise to marry him after the war so he returns to his unit. After the war is over Wully comes home to find Christie distant and cold - and soon finds out why. She is pregnant with another man's child. The rest of the novel is about how Wully and Christie deal with these scandalous events in this very rural, very close knit community.

This novel starts bad and gets worse. First, the scenes where Wully falls for Christie are simply melodramatic flimflam and almost entirely unbelievable. And the way the plot meanders along once Wully returns and the actions each take as they deal with their unfortunate circumstances are poorly thought out from a plotting standpoint.

This is definitely not a novel I'd recommend to anyone. It's a waste of valuable reading time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Able CmLaughlins by Margaret Wilson 5 July 2014
By Lorraine G. Danza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pulitzer Prize winner 1924. Beautiful story of Scottish immigrants who migrated to the mid-west and laid the foundation of their values. A story of hardship, joy, love and honor. These were the pioneers of our country,who left their mark on the land and set their moral values which became part of America. These immigrants were the backbone of what America stood for, something we gradually lost along the way to 21st Century.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
“The Able McLaughlins” Margaret Wilson, 1923 28 Mar. 2014
By Bill Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fine little book and a good story of life on the prairie just after the Civil War. Some good and subtle humor at times; my favorite character is Barbara McNair.
Well written and interesting.
A story of America. A story of hard work and prosperity. A love story.
Good book, four stars.
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