Thursday, October 29, 2020

Citizens of Campbell - Book Review

Have you ever loved a book so much you wish you had been written into it?  That is the feeling I came away with after reading Citizens of Campbell.  Ann Reed's debut novel felt, in many ways, like a story I had already inhabited while growing up in small town America.  More than anything, this was a homecoming for me.

The heart of this novel is the bond between two quietly heroic men—Earl Johansen and Nearly "Walking Elk" Kelly.  One is a hero for saving a man's life; the other for simply being who he is—a good and decent man.  

I'm sure Earl and Nearly would be surprised to find themselves between the covers of a book.  I imagine Earl would be a little embarrassed and Nearly secretly delighted.  The dailiness of their lives, to them, wouldn't seem worthy of mention, but they would be wrong.

Citizens of Campbell reveals the soul of what it means to be essential to someone else.

Ann Reed, the author, is an extremely gifted singer/songwriter.  More than writing the story of Campbell, Iowa, and its citizens, she has sung it.  The song is an anthem all kindred spirits will recognize.  You will feel the chords, the true notes that are the music of living simply and beautifully alongside, and in concert with, your chosen family.

Highly recommended.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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16 comments:

  1. Thank you Diana for another great book to put on my list of "Must Reads"! Many of your suggestions and reviews have led me to enjoy some books that otherwise would not have crossed my path. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Olivia. It is always great to see you. I am always happy to share a reading journey with you.

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  3. Oh, this does sounds good. Sounds like just the type of book we need to read right now. Thanks for the review and recommend.

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    1. You are so right, Mary Beth. I felt filled and comforted by this book. It is a balm for our times.

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  4. Having grown up, plus lived in, small towns most of my life, the theme of this story resonates with me. And especially a story that takes place in a small town in Iowa, since I have now moved to a small town in Iowa. I will definitely look for this book to read.

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    1. I thought of you, Pat, while I was reading this book. I expect you will enjoy and appreciate this novel very much. Having lived in small town Iowa myself, I felt right at home between the pages of Citizens of Campbell. I've known those characters... have lived amongst them... have loved them.

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  5. Diana dear, every time I read one of your reviews, I am struck by your eloquence. I have written professionally for most of my life, and only wish I could express myself half as eloquently as you! Once again, you've added to my "must read" list with your review of Citizens of Campbell. A book about good, decent, and sometimes heroic people is exactly what we need right now. And, having grown up in Manhattan for most of my childhood and spent my adulthood living in Manhattan, Boston and its suburbs, I'm always fascinated by how different life is in other parts of the country and in less urban and suburban communities. Thanks for another great recommendation.

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    1. Oh, Margaret, you always make me feel worthy. Thank you for affirming me, as this is a time in my life when I often question what I have the capacity to do... and to do well. Thank you for believing in me and for lifting my spirits. Deeply appreciated!

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  6. I have certainly known some people who quietly and unassumingly walked through this life, but have made a huge impact on those around them. I am sure this is a wonderful book about very worthy everyday people. Thank you for the review and recommendation.

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    1. I love the quiet, unassuming people who change lives under the radar... behind the scenes... those who would be shocked to learn how much of a difference they have made.

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    2. Diana, this describes you perfectly!

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    3. Oh, now you're going to make me cry. What a beautiful and kind thing to say. Thank you.

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  7. I have so many books on my to-read list. But I think I need to bump this one to the next book. I unfortunately started a book that is not filled with decent people and heroes. While I have a really hard time not finishing a book (Somehow I feel like it is disrespectful) I might have to put this book down and go meet Nearly and Earl. Thank you for this review Diana.

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    1. This is a time when I find I must focus on decency. Without it, what do we have?

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  8. Playing her music in the background right now. ReviewThisReviews is filled with many hidden gems. Without reading this I wouldn't even know it existed. Thanks for this one.

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    1. One of the highlights of the pandemic, for me, has been to listen to live music from the homes of musicians like Ann Reed. I always feel better after attending one of her virtual concerts. One of my online friends introduced me to this artist and I am so glad she did. I am also glad I read this book at this time.

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