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It Is Well

A Novel
Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Jonathan Beecher, a middle-aged widower and small-town store owner, has never asked for much. But lately, all too much is being asked of him. The bombing of Pearl Harbor plunges America into World War II and deeply fractures Jonathan's own family. His eldest son, a civilian contractor, is trapped on a Japanese-occupied island in the Pacific. Jonathan's feckless younger son ignores his father's pleas to stay home and joins the army. And his bright, devoted daughter, who Jonathan hoped would go to college, elopes with a brutally abusive man instead.

Jonathan has always met adversity with quiet faith, but as his emotional and financial losses accumulate, so do his doubts. In the midst of his pain, Sarah, a widow herself, emerges as a kind, compelling friend. Powerfully drawn to Sarah, Jonathan struggles to remain true to his late wife.

James D. Shipman's tender, wise novel examines the paradox of human suffering: how irrevocable loss, if we are willing to let it, begets spiritual gain.

©2016 James D. Shipman. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
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  • Sara
  • 03-01-2018

WWII Homefront Struggles

I'm of two minds about this book. On one hand I think the author captured the rigid, dire and harsh realities of loss, war and grief. This story had all of the elements needed to portray WWII homefront life with historic accuracy. The blend of religiosity, domestic violence, and the paternalistic approach was probably how many people actually lived at the time. Grim but true.

On the other hand, the characters seemed so one dimensional and undeveloped. I never felt that I understood what motivated the actions and behaviors of these unlikable and almost card board cutout beings. There were places in the book where I really hated the story. I dreaded the predictable interaction between several of the family members.

To make this book work the author needed to find a way to breathe life into the characters. Instead it became just like the joke about the people we all know who love to regale you with what I call the litany of disaster. You know the stuff--and then his right leg fell off, and then the dog died and then the house burned down--and then...and so on.

In the end, while this was probably an accurate portrayal of life during WWII for some people, I had trouble feeling empathy and connection with the characters and the story.

16 people found this helpful

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  • MoonBeamDreamZ
  • 16-01-2018

Don’t waste your time

I thought this was a terrible book. I am a spiritual person, but this really leaned too hard on the God issue. It jumped back and forth from the fathers life and his issues, to his children’s lives. There was no real gripping substance with the story. Not even the narrator could pull me in. Depressing. blehhhhh

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jennifer McMurtrie
  • 04-12-2017

Adequate to tell story

This book told a story, but there was no real artistry to it. The characters were one dimensional and fell flat. If it weren't for my weird desire to know how it ends (with all books in general, not just this one) I wouldn't have finished the book. It isn't often I feel that way.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 15-11-2016

Just a Good Story of the Pain of Real Life

Any additional comments?

The book is a good story, well told, and superbly read of the pain and ordeals of real life in a small town. A bit overdramatic at times, but that was ok. I think most people will really enjoy. I am glad I tried something a bit different.

1 person found this helpful

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  • NickMaine
  • 14-08-2020

Poorly written

This book seems to have been written as a movie script as it relies mostly on dialogue. I gave up in it as the characters did not hold my interest

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • June
  • 07-06-2020

It is Well

Great 👍 war novel each chapter you are listening and interested in the outcome. Never a dull moment. 💘

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  • kathleen
  • 18-05-2020

Beautifully written

Started off slow but then I could not stop. A story of strong courage and faith. Great listen!

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  • Jada Mathis
  • 16-05-2020

captivating!

A realistic story that encouraged me to hold onto my faith in God! It also, helped me to understand my late father who, although served in a different war. This was a healing balm to my soul! Thank you!

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  • ND Roughrider
  • 09-04-2020

Great novel, excellent characters.

The author has written an excellent novel with fantastic storyline and captivating characters! The narration is superb, lending belief and bringing the characters to life!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda Vockler
  • 01-04-2020

Kept my attention

This book had a very good storyline and the storyteller kept my attention during the hole book. I didn't want it to end