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David Champlin is a black man born into poverty in Depression-era New Orleans who achieves great success and then sacrifices everything to lead his people in the difficult, day-by-day struggle of the civil rights movement. Sara Kent is the beloved and vital white girl who loved David from the moment she first saw him, but they struggled over David's belief that a marriage for them would not be right in the violent world he had to confront. Likening the struggle of black Americans to the five smooth stones” the biblical David carried against Goliath in lieu of arms, this novel’s range encompasses decades and continentsbut that range is insignificant compared with the intimate picture of its hero’s irresistible warmth and inner conflicts. First published in 1966, this epic has become one of the most loved American bestsellers.

Published: Chicago Review Press an imprint of Independent Publishers Group on Apr 1, 2009
ISBN: 9781569765722
List price: $15.99
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Too long, would prefer someone make a movie or PBS get this screen written into a series....Feelings of a negative kind were truly generated, reliving the dark south side of American history..read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was a book of two halves for me. I would rate the first 500 pages at 8/10, with the remaining 350 at 5/10. It all started falling apart once a major character died, and the race riots began. None of the new characters introduced after that engaged me, and I got bogged down in the policital discussion/race riot descriptions. Something was missing from the narrative, but I'm not sure what. Long books like this don't usually put me off, but I found myself wishing for the end.Having said all that, I'm am glad I've read this, and persevered to the end!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read this book a long time ago and actually bought the book because I was so moved by the story and the romance. Like newer books - the recently published "The Help" it gives insights into the profound complex issue of race in America. Pleased it has been re-published.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is between # 1 and # 2 of the top five best, most interesting books I've ever read and I've read many. I first read this book in the early 70s. Since then, I've read it another 6 or 7 times. I used to keep it on my book shelf and read it twice a year. I've lost two copies, they may be packed away but recently bought a third-the most recent edition and read it again this year. I'm glad this book is getting some of the attention it deserves. It's timeless.... In every decade that I've read it, I identify real-life people that share characteristics with the characters in this book. It doesn't feel like fiction. It reads like real life. What more can you ask of these dramatic, romantic, heart wrenching words? I've love to have this book in ebook format but haven't been able to find it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This huge novel should be required reading for anyone who thinks it's no big deal that Barack Obama is in the White House. Five Smooth Stones spans four decades of American history, from the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. David Champlin, a black man, grows up impoverished but in an emotionally rich environment in his grandfather's household in New Orleans, where white supremacy is unquestioned and officially sanctioned discrimination is rampant. Despite the odds against him, he gains an education and becomes a lawyer. On the eve of marriage and a career in international diplomacy, a key event inspires him to turn his back on a secure future and join the struggle of his people in the South. The struggle, as we all know, is ongoing, and each triumph comes at a great cost.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
FIVE SMOOTH STONES, Anne Fairbairn, ©1966, Chicago Review Press Edition 2009, $18.95US/$20.95CAN, pb, 756pp. The story takes place in New Orleans in 1933 during the depression. Times are hard money is scarce and JIm Crow separates black from white with a natural tenuous acceptance. Li’l Joe Champlin and his wife Geneva have suffered hardship and have witnessed the plague of the negro men and women. The unwritten laws of white society are there to instill a sense of inferiority on one side and the pure supreme power of the social white elite on the other. Li’l Joe and Geneva know that justice is taken care of without trial and with discrimination and hatred. They suffered unbearable grief and pain when their son David was murdered by a white mob. Having left a son, they decide to raise him and vow to give him the best education possible. Li’l Joe is befriended by Bjarne Knudsen who becomes David’s mentor and surrogate father through high school, Harvard Law and then Oxford. David, a brilliant scholar falls in love with Sarah, a petite white artist he calls, “the smallest.” Although Sarah sees only love without a color barrier, David only sees the ugly future of racial hatred. David is challenged again when he gives up a certain golden career in international law to help lead his people fight for civil rights and change. Despite the overwhelming length of this historical fiction novel, you will be spellbound by every page read. David and his friends are characters to remember and reflect on for years. You will recognize them as friends by the author’s detailed shaping of their personalities. The picture of the life lived by an interracial couple is honestly portrayed and still has value and truth today. Five Smooth Stones has proven to be timeless, and a tremendous testament of the civil rights struggle.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What a wonderful story...about New Orleans, about love. I read this book so'll love it. long ago, but will never forget David, Sarah, the Professor, and David's grandparents...Geneva and......anyway, it's a beautifully written story of a time in our history, and the courage some were able to show in the face of it all. Youread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Where to Start, This book is a must read for everyone who loves a love story, a touch of history, and the belief that somewhere there is hope for mankind. I read this when it came first out and have reread it every 2 years since and it still makes me laff , cry , and renew my vows to be more tolerant of others. The book makes you Care about the characters and you forget thats its a work of fiction.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I was a very young girl, about 12 or 13 or so, when my big sister, in her twenties, loaned it to me to read. I was blown away. I've always hated injustice and so did she. I found out much, much later that she had to give up a relationship herself due predjudice and pressure from family.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

Too long, would prefer someone make a movie or PBS get this screen written into a series....Feelings of a negative kind were truly generated, reliving the dark south side of American history..
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was a book of two halves for me. I would rate the first 500 pages at 8/10, with the remaining 350 at 5/10. It all started falling apart once a major character died, and the race riots began. None of the new characters introduced after that engaged me, and I got bogged down in the policital discussion/race riot descriptions. Something was missing from the narrative, but I'm not sure what. Long books like this don't usually put me off, but I found myself wishing for the end.Having said all that, I'm am glad I've read this, and persevered to the end!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read this book a long time ago and actually bought the book because I was so moved by the story and the romance. Like newer books - the recently published "The Help" it gives insights into the profound complex issue of race in America. Pleased it has been re-published.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is between # 1 and # 2 of the top five best, most interesting books I've ever read and I've read many. I first read this book in the early 70s. Since then, I've read it another 6 or 7 times. I used to keep it on my book shelf and read it twice a year. I've lost two copies, they may be packed away but recently bought a third-the most recent edition and read it again this year. I'm glad this book is getting some of the attention it deserves. It's timeless.... In every decade that I've read it, I identify real-life people that share characteristics with the characters in this book. It doesn't feel like fiction. It reads like real life. What more can you ask of these dramatic, romantic, heart wrenching words? I've love to have this book in ebook format but haven't been able to find it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This huge novel should be required reading for anyone who thinks it's no big deal that Barack Obama is in the White House. Five Smooth Stones spans four decades of American history, from the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. David Champlin, a black man, grows up impoverished but in an emotionally rich environment in his grandfather's household in New Orleans, where white supremacy is unquestioned and officially sanctioned discrimination is rampant. Despite the odds against him, he gains an education and becomes a lawyer. On the eve of marriage and a career in international diplomacy, a key event inspires him to turn his back on a secure future and join the struggle of his people in the South. The struggle, as we all know, is ongoing, and each triumph comes at a great cost.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
FIVE SMOOTH STONES, Anne Fairbairn, ©1966, Chicago Review Press Edition 2009, $18.95US/$20.95CAN, pb, 756pp. The story takes place in New Orleans in 1933 during the depression. Times are hard money is scarce and JIm Crow separates black from white with a natural tenuous acceptance. Li’l Joe Champlin and his wife Geneva have suffered hardship and have witnessed the plague of the negro men and women. The unwritten laws of white society are there to instill a sense of inferiority on one side and the pure supreme power of the social white elite on the other. Li’l Joe and Geneva know that justice is taken care of without trial and with discrimination and hatred. They suffered unbearable grief and pain when their son David was murdered by a white mob. Having left a son, they decide to raise him and vow to give him the best education possible. Li’l Joe is befriended by Bjarne Knudsen who becomes David’s mentor and surrogate father through high school, Harvard Law and then Oxford. David, a brilliant scholar falls in love with Sarah, a petite white artist he calls, “the smallest.” Although Sarah sees only love without a color barrier, David only sees the ugly future of racial hatred. David is challenged again when he gives up a certain golden career in international law to help lead his people fight for civil rights and change. Despite the overwhelming length of this historical fiction novel, you will be spellbound by every page read. David and his friends are characters to remember and reflect on for years. You will recognize them as friends by the author’s detailed shaping of their personalities. The picture of the life lived by an interracial couple is honestly portrayed and still has value and truth today. Five Smooth Stones has proven to be timeless, and a tremendous testament of the civil rights struggle.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What a wonderful story...about New Orleans, about love. I read this book so'll love it. long ago, but will never forget David, Sarah, the Professor, and David's grandparents...Geneva and......anyway, it's a beautifully written story of a time in our history, and the courage some were able to show in the face of it all. You
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Where to Start, This book is a must read for everyone who loves a love story, a touch of history, and the belief that somewhere there is hope for mankind. I read this when it came first out and have reread it every 2 years since and it still makes me laff , cry , and renew my vows to be more tolerant of others. The book makes you Care about the characters and you forget thats its a work of fiction.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I was a very young girl, about 12 or 13 or so, when my big sister, in her twenties, loaned it to me to read. I was blown away. I've always hated injustice and so did she. I found out much, much later that she had to give up a relationship herself due predjudice and pressure from family.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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