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Rachel Beanland

Autor(a) de Florence Adler Swims Forever

2 Works 713 Membros 43 Reviews

Obras de Rachel Beanland

Florence Adler Swims Forever (2020) 415 cópias
The House Is on Fire (2023) 298 cópias


1810s (2) 1930s (7) 19th century (8) 2020 (6) 2023 (12) adult fiction (2) arcs (2) Atlantic City (11) audio (3) audiobook (7) death (3) disasters (5) drowning (4) ebook (3) F (2) family (7) family secrets (2) fiction (47) fire (8) fires (4) grief (3) historical (5) historical fiction (49) Jewish (6) Jews (3) Kindle (3) New Jersey (10) novel (5) own (3) read (5) Richmond (8) secrets (5) slavery (10) swimming (7) theatre (8) to-read (110) tragedy (4) USA (5) Virginia (10) WWII (4)

Conhecimento Comum



“The perfect summer read” (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets over the course of one summer.
HandelmanLibraryTINR | outras 22 resenhas | May 15, 2024 |
This book was for our Library Book Club March meeting. I listened to the book while following along in the actual book. This book got my interest from the beginning. While I was listening to it, I actually went back to re-read something because I couldn't believe what I had just heard/read!

It was nice to read a book in a setting that I am familiar with. This book is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Hearing and reading about the area in the 1930's was interesting. You have this Jewish family who has a business and two adult girls. Living their lives and tragedy hits the family.… (mais)
crazy4reading | outras 22 resenhas | Apr 16, 2024 |
The House is On Fire, Rachel Beanland, author; Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Andi Arndt, Michael Crouch, Ruffin Prentiss III and Rachel Beanland, narrators
This novel is about a true, tragic event that occurred in 1811, in Richmond, Virginia. When the only theater went up in flames, many people were killed, women especially, in much larger numbers. Few men made an effort to help them, rather they saved themselves. Why did the theater go up in flames? Who survived? What were the circumstances of the times that helped to make the original investigation go off the rails? How did women’s rights and race and religious issues have an effect on the outcome of the investigation? How was the outcome spun to satisfy the powers that be?
In the early part of the 19th century, slavery was still acceptable by many, racism was alive and well, women had no standing in the community without their husband’s consent, and the men were basically in charge of all affairs, financial and personal. Thus, the author has focused on the shortcomings of the country regarding these issues as she explores this incident. Of course, there are no living survivors, so she relies on the little documentation that exists to develop her story. She has done a fine job exposing the injustices toward slaves, women and even, in one slight referral, to Jewish people. The biases that existed then, are alive and well today, however, in bright color, regarding Jewish people, and sadly, a lot of the bias and hate is coming from the very same people who objected to their own incarceration as slaves. To me, they seem to have a bit of tunnel vision today, often exacerbated by some authors who insist on ignoring the racial bias from all sides.
Still, this book is not about that, it is about a tragedy that occurred because of incompetence, arrogance and ignorance. It is about an attempted cover-up and need to blame it on a vulnerable, innocent community of slaves. The author shows that criminal behavior perfectly. She also shows that there were men who knew what was right from wrong and eventually came around to seeing it, but also showed that the people in command were blind to that observation and only wanted to protect themselves. Greed and the need for personal reward rears its head often.
The book shines a light on the state of the country then, and the state of the country now, which is not that much better regarding the respect of the rights of others. It seems respecting our own personal need is taking precedent over right and wrong in almost every area of American life today, with unjust bullying of innocent people, white and black, men and women, politicians and ordinary citizens, supporting lies over truth and honor to accomplish the same political goals then as now; the goal still seems to be that of ultimate power over others to pursue personal agendas not necessarily good for the entire country, but rather for a segment of the population that possibly is not qualified to have it, but is in charge politically.
There are four characters featured in the book. Cecily is a slave of mixed race, the product of an owner and her own mother. Cecily is now being sexually abused by the owner’s son Elliott. She is hoping to be presumed dead in the devastating fire, facilitating her escape to freedom. Gilbert is her uncle. He is attempting to save his money to buy his own freedom. The night of the fire, he was an unsung hero because of his race. His boss resented his heroism since it took time away from his work. Gilbert is a principled man; his boss is not. Jack is a teenage actor who appears to be responsible for the fire and the deaths of so many, mostly women, since men had the advantage of better access to exits; he wants to do the right thing, but his boss wants him to lie and to protect the company and other actors from prosecution. Jack is principled, but his boss and fellow workers are not. When threatened, he acquiesces completely until he sees the unjust results of his actions. Sally is a widow from a privileged class who has lost the large respect of the community because there is no man in her life any longer. The influence and power she once had has been marginalized, but she uses her maiden name in some instances to afford her a well-deserved advantage. She rails against the injustices done to women. All four tell their stories in alternate voices to give a picture of the times with authenticity from both a black and white point of view, and a privileged and underprivileged point of view.
The fire exposes the horrible brutality of slavery and the people who supported it, the arrogance of some men when it came to their power over women, and a government and justice system completely blind to the issues at hand, that contrived to keep that very system in power. It makes one wonder about how so much has changed and so much has remained the same in the world we live in today.
People are still falsely accused and found guilty by corrupt juries and judges. Incompetence is not punished, but is rewarded today in the interest of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a recipe for disaster, though viewed with a different lens in each circumstance from then to now and encouraged by the political power currently in place.
So, the book has profound ideas that must be considered thoroughly, but may be treated more lightly by book groups intent on their own political interests, instead. Who is guilty? Who is innocent? How do we determine that, with facts or personal need? If machinery is not repaired, who is at fault, the owner or the person using it? If you are afraid of being caught, is it moral to point fingers at those you deem to be “less than” yourself? When is it all right to lie to protect the guilty? Is it ever all right to distort the facts for one’s own benefit? These and other moral and ethical questions must be explored in all avenues of our life today. If we are to enter the future realistically and with moral courage, we must understand how we even got here to this state of willful blindness.
… (mais)
thewanderingjew | outras 19 resenhas | Mar 3, 2024 |
I was captivated by The House Is On Fire by Rachel Beanland. Beanland tells a fictionalized version of the 1811 Richmond theater fire that killed over 70 people including the Governor and a former senator and devastated the community. She focuses her story on four people including the real life Gilbert Hunt, a slave who became a hero for saving many women as they leapt from a second story window. I was not familiar with the story. The book was recommended by a book club member and we will be discussing it on Tuesday. Beanland faces the racism and casual violence of slavery head on as she tells the story of a young slave using the fire to escape abuse and how easy it was to convince southerners that the fire was caused by slaves.… (mais)
witchyrichy | outras 19 resenhas | Feb 27, 2024 |



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