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Originally published in 1945, the triumphant novel of a great American family dynasty in the Pacific Northwest, by Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Ferber.

Great Son tells the story of four generations of the Melendys, a family grown rich and ill at ease, who watched Seattle grow from a village to a skyscraper town, who felt the rhythm and sweep of America in the building, and the call of the Alaskan gold fields. There is Madam Exact Melendy, who saw Seattle grow from an Indian camp to the wonder city of the Northwest, and Vaughan, her son, who wrested three fortunes from the wilderness, but yielded to the domination of three women. Finally, there is Mike Melendy, a clear-eyed representative of the new generation, who, feeling there was no place to go but up, took to flying. With her signature colorful prose, Edna Ferber brings to life the triumphant story of the magnificent Melendy men and women.
Published: Random House Publishing Group on Mar 4, 2014
ISBN: 9780345806130
List price: $11.99
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The history of Seattle is shown through the lives of one fictional family. The Melendy family matriarch was born as the boat came ashore in 1851, when there existed no state of Washington, no city of Seattle, no anything other than wilderness, water, and Indians. The story ends in 1944 as her great-grandson prepares to join the air force. In between, the Melendy family story reflects Seattle's ups and downs, social history, people and events:Old Chief Seattle - … Why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. The Klondike gold rush - which re-energizes the city.The Mercer Girls – Civil War widows and spinsters, brought from New England by Asa Mercer, 12 of them in 1864 and 47 in 1866. (One hundred years later, the television program Here Come the Brides would be based on this event.)I enjoyed Ms. Ferber's depictions of Seattle through the years. And I enjoyed her early characters, but people later in the story I thought were monotonously drug out. Overall, though, I found it an interesting way to see a city's history.read more
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The history of Seattle is shown through the lives of one fictional family. The Melendy family matriarch was born as the boat came ashore in 1851, when there existed no state of Washington, no city of Seattle, no anything other than wilderness, water, and Indians. The story ends in 1944 as her great-grandson prepares to join the air force. In between, the Melendy family story reflects Seattle's ups and downs, social history, people and events:Old Chief Seattle - … Why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. The Klondike gold rush - which re-energizes the city.The Mercer Girls – Civil War widows and spinsters, brought from New England by Asa Mercer, 12 of them in 1864 and 47 in 1866. (One hundred years later, the television program Here Come the Brides would be based on this event.)I enjoyed Ms. Ferber's depictions of Seattle through the years. And I enjoyed her early characters, but people later in the story I thought were monotonously drug out. Overall, though, I found it an interesting way to see a city's history.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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