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A Splendid Country [Paperback]

T. Austin Cumings
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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From the Publisher

By M.L. Roberts-Editor

I had a difficult time editing this book--because I kept getting lost in the story and forgetting I was supposed to be looking for problems. The author's writing style is very smooth. With his family history as a foundation, Cumings is able to tell the story in an almost heartfelt way, while keeping himself distanced as narrator.

The facts behind the family history have been gently molded by the author's talent in conjuring "what-if" possibilities. His creativity is particularly evidenced in his treatment of the relationship between Rebecca Cumings and William B. Travis. His knowledge of history (which is not limited by any means to Texas history) is not forced upon the reader; rather, it subtly weaves into the fictional story and provides a plausible foundation for his plot and subplots.

I especially enjoyed his descriptors and the way his phrasing effortlessly but accurately paints vivid scenes, so much so that we could imagine being there ourselves. A Splendid Country spans a full century, telling of a family's progression from the Ohio Valley and ending up in Texas at its most crucial hour, during the fight for independence. The general history behind it many of us know, but there is nothing tired in this story: It comes at us fresh and alive and open for reconsideration.

As you might be able to tell, I thoroughly enjoyed the book! I just hope I'm lucky enough to be able to edit another from Tim Cumings. I suspect, however, that I'd have to land a job with a major publisher on the East Coast to be able to do so!


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work as Grand as the State of Texas July 13 2003
Format:Paperback
One never knows exactly what they are going to get when they embark upon the first work of an unknown author. Far more often than not, it is the first and last work of a well-meaning "wannabe." However, in Cumings' first effort, he has woven a spell-binding tale of the trials and tribulations of a courageous clan and those who touch and concern the family over the decades following their removal from the North to Texas. Not only is his historic background work factual and informative, but his beautifully written tales of adventure stir the imagination to the point where you feel like you are traveling the plains, rivers and woods with them. The characters are rich and precise and one is easily led to try to identify members of the Cumings family with those of his own clan. Unlike many writers of historic novels involving Texas, Cumings does not embellish facts or hide the truth in seeking a factual portrail of the era and allows the reader the opportunity to judge the grandeur of Texas on his own. We can only hope that Cumings has another work in the offing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Country - Texana at its finest Jan. 22 2001
By Ron Briggs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I began reading A Splendid Country because a friend wrote it. I finished reading it because I was taken in by the characters and the writing style. Tim's book thrusts you into early America and the character of the people who were brave enough to step into the unknown of the frontier. These were ordinary people living extraordinary adventures. As you read of their adventures, you think to yourself, "Yeah, it could have happened just like that." Tim sprinkles the story with people you have heard of ( Aaron Burr, Col. Travis and other heros of early Texas) and mythical characters like Prince Madoc. There are episodes of high adventure and the durdgery of day to day living at the edge of civilization. The style is fast paced and not over dramatized. If you like historical fiction, this is a must read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute to the People of a Republic April 16 2001
By Billie Street - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Texas is indeed "A Splendid Country", and Cumings has provided any Texan, native, adopted, or wantabe, an excellent portrayal of the early development of Anglo Texas while resisting the urge to overly romanticize an oft-told story. He has faithfully interwoven historical events with the fictionalized account of one of the state's pioneer families and the adventures they encountered while helping settle the wilderness and gain hard won independence from Mexico. While the battle at the Alamo is generally recognized outside of Texas as the great battle for liberty, he has taken great care to document the Texas Revolution from its humble beginnings to its culmination at San Jacinto and General Santa Anna's surrender. As an historical account, A Splendid Country, holds up. As a well crafted adventure, it catches the reader's attention and maintains it throughout. Both devoted Texana buffs and those readers looking for an interesting saga of pioneer America will find what they are looking for in Cumings' first novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAMILY Jan. 19 2013
By Catherine C. Linley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
THIS BOOK WAS WRITTRN BY MY COUSIN & IT IS ALL ABOUT MY ANCESTERS & I THINK ITS GREAT ,EVERY ONE SHOULD READ IT BECAUSE ITS ALL TRUE.
4.0 out of 5 stars Read A Splendid Country Aug. 22 2010
By Jane Goodsill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A Splendid Country by T. Austin Cumings is a historic novel that extends from 1776 to 1875. It gives excellent descriptions of America life and times: river life, town life, farming life, war times, politics, frontier life and even weather events. The author weaves historical characters in and out of his plots in a very engaging way. I found myself caring about this family as they journeyed from the Shenandoah Valley to Texas. Read this book, it is a delightful way to learn about history.
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Adventure July 6 2005
By James G. McCrone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"A Splendid Country" weaves romance, history, passion, courage and inspiration into a compelling story about our heritage...our conscience...and helps guide us through who we are as a nation. More than "Texana," more than "Americana," this novel paints a striking picture of real people, heading west, looking for home. "A Splendid Country," touched my spirit of adventure, teased my curiosity and kept me turning the pages of discovery. A Great read!
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