REACTIONS OF SOME ORDINARY READERS TO
STAN CORWIN PRODUCTIONS, Beverley
Hills, Hollywood, United States:
FELICITY KEATS, publisher, teacher of right-brain writing, Durban, emailed the author with the following: I have read, without stopping - couldn’t stop - the first two books of your novel and they are superb! Wonderful, Brenda, you are a truly amazing person – great stuff, Brenda, and the cover is superb! She later emailed to say: You have a wonderful book, Brenda. I couldn’t stop reading it and now am into the last book. You have a superb story Brenda, absolutely wonderful, and I am hugely impressed. You are a wonderful writer! Yes, you can be a best selling author! She later emailed to say: I finished your book, couldn’t put it down. Wanted to know what would happen to Eli, I got to like him. Sorry, he didn’t get Annabel. But it was a great read! Well done, I don’t know how you do it!
COLLEEN RITCHIE, Panorama Park, South Africa, spoke to the author on the phone in great excitement. She said that she has a library of some 2000 books, of which only about 50 are fiction, because she’s not interested in fiction. But she is so enjoying this book, she is just loving it, and is so impressed with it – it is too beautiful! It is so beautifully descriptive, the leaves and the snow and the mountain that she feels as if she is right there. She said the characters are so real, they are alive. That she’d been to America and seen the hillbillies and they were exactly as the author described. She said she wants to read the book, but after three pages she puts it down, because she is loving it so much she just does not want it to end. But then she can’t help picking it up again. She said she’s never been so excited about a book in her life. When she had finished the book, Colleen told the author: ‘It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic! Have you ever read a book where you want to read slowly because you know you are getting near the end? That was your book. I really and truly loved it! Your characters were real-live characters – magnificent. And I could see everything and felt I was there. When you mentioned the leaves, I could see them.
LISA SUTHERLAND, South Africa, phoned to say she was absolutely loving the book – she was right inside the main character’s head, and couldn’t put the book down, often reading paragraphs over and over again because of the words the author had used. Besides talking about different scenes and characters, she said the book is so precious she will never lend it out to anybody. And that she was going to start reading it again immediately after she had finished. She also said that the author is so deep and understands human nature so well. LISA later wrote a letter saying the following: 'Falling leaves and Mountain Ashes’ was GREAT! … I couldn’t put it down. (The scene) … about the barn was so evocatively descriptive I was in there with Mary. There are many such passages in the book. Mary and Zachary will forever be etched in my mind, and Eli and Obediah actually drew some sympathy from me, especially Eli who was so damaged emotionally. I knew nothing about the mountain folk and customs, but now I feel I could go and dwell with them, having learned so much about them from your hugely well-researched book. Well done! You’re done what not many others could have!
HEATHER CHORN, South Africa, phoned to say she had just finished reading
it TWICE. She loved it so much she began reading it again the moment she
finished it the first time. She said it was magnificent and she loved the
characters and lived with them. She couldn’t believe the research
that had been done on the book. She even wrote a detailed assessment on
the book afterwards so she could see how the author had constructed it.
MARIE COMBRINCK, South Africa, phoned to say it wasn’t the type of book she usually read, but she found it fantastic and gripping right till the end.
DEBBIE KHAN’S praise was overwhelming. First email reported: “Started reading the book. Cannot put it down – fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My poor family is being neglected. Every spare moment my nose is in the book – went to sleep at four on Sunday morning!” After finishing the book, she said it was absolutely fantastic, stunning, stunning, stunning, with brilliant writing. She loved the characters and the story, which she said was very, very sad in the end. She said that it haunted her and she hadn’t been so moved by a book since she read “A Man Cannot Cry” many years ago. (Incidentally, “A Man Cannot Cry” was written by the author’s sister, Gloria Keverne, and edited by Brenda George!)
MIKE JOHNSON, South Africa, said “Oh, fantastic! She’s a brilliant writer. Bloody good! She and Gloria are both brilliant writers.” (He was referring to Gloria Keverne, the author of the international bestseller “A Man Cannot Cry”, which Brenda George edited.) Referring to Brenda’s book, he said over and over how he felt like he was right there in that place, and that the characters were so real to him, he felt like that were living beings and that he knew them personally. Regarding the characters, he said how much he loved the main character, Mary, who did so much for the people who lived on Claw Mountain, and through her goodness, changed their lives. And he even felt himself sympathizing with the main antagonist, Eli, especially when he understood why he became the man he did. Then after reading another book given to him by his brother-in-law, he handed it back to him, and said: “Oh, it was alright, but once you’ve read the Keverne sisters, everything else pales in comparison!”
RODNEY GLASS, Hilton, said “I’m loving the book. “Falling Leaves and Mountain Ashes” is so jolly enticing, to turn the page is infuriatingly wonderful!’
JENNI RIDDELL, Pinetown, South Africa, said it was brilliant, absolutely stunning, and that she could not put it down. She said the author is such an unbelievably talented writer, she even found sympathy for the main antagonist, Eli. She loved all the characters, especially Mary, Zachary Thomas, the spunky little mountain child, Emma, and Mary’s little mystic son, Jed. She found the end very moving and sad, and said she never wanted it to end. She says she wants to read it again in a few months time, because she is so haunted by it.
TAMMY NASH phoned from Kokstad to say the author is a brilliant writer
and she loved her book. That she found it difficult to do her household
chores, because all she wanted to do is get back to the book to see what
happened next. She loved all the characters, and cried in the end. She
didn’t want it to end and can’t wait for the next book to come
NORMA PIQUITO, Johannesburg, South Africa, phoned to say that she loved every single word of the book and that she thought it was absolutely stunning. She said her previous all-time favourite book was “Gone With the Wind” but that the author had set a new standard in excellence with her brilliant writing. In fact she didn’t know what she could possibly read after this because the author had set such a high standard. She said that she was so involved with the characters that she could not put the book down and felt really heartsore when she finished it, because she just wanted it to carry on and on. She found it so moving at times that she was reduced to tears.
VIVIENNE GRANT, Hilton, South Africa, was speaking to Rodney Glass over lunch in Hilton, South Africa. He emailed the author: ‘Vivienne reads like lightning, and, is a bookworm par excellence, of the highest order. In fact ALL she does is READ... Vivienne sits daily in the winter sunshine, SOAKING up BOOKS!! Vivienne told me, ‘“Rodney, I enjoyed Brenda's book thoroughly, thoroughly, thoroughly!! You know how well read I am... Well, when I say a book has a future, believe me, it has a future! I wouldn't be in the least surprised if Brenda's book receives film rights! I found it fascinating, and a truly fine read. Oh, without question, I've really enjoyed ‘Falling Leaves and Mountain Ashes’!"’ Brenda, coming from a READER, like Vivienne, who honestly, NEVER is seen sitting without her book close by, her glowing comments are definitely worthy of note!! Vivienne, of course, need I say, is of high intelligence!! I was thrilled to the hindmost molars, hearing a reader of Vivienne's stature, saying such wonderful words about your book!!’
*TILLY GOUGH, Wartburg, South Africa, phoned to say she read it and really enjoyed it, then she gave it to her cousin who loved it, who gave it to her daughter, who also loved it. She said they three all loved it so much, all they want to know is WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT? Her son, ROB GOUGH congratulated the author in a supermarket, on her book, and told her that his mother can’t stop raving about it!
VIO CAMERON, Durban, South Africa, phoned Brenda and said ‘Bre-enda, I ‘m devastated.’ Brenda said, “Oh, no, Vio, what happened?’ Vio: ‘I’ve just finished reading your book and I didn’t want it to end – I wanted it to go on forever. It’s divine! Absolutely divine! I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end. It’s so different. But I’m sure I’m only one in a long line of people to fantastic it is. You must have because it IS fantastic. Like Gloria, you describe everything so well, you feel as if you are right there. What is it about you two Keverne girls that you can both write so brilliantly? You write differently, but both so descriptively that it comes to life.’
LESLEY THOMSON, well-known conservationist, South African said she loved the book, that once she started reading it, she just could not stop and that her husband complained, ‘When are you going to get your nose out of that bloody book?’ She said it really is a marvellous book and the writing is excellent. She especially loved the part with the eagles and the Senedo Indian and the descriptions of the mountains.
CAROL NASH said, ‘Oh, Brenda, when I was in Kokstad, I was reading your book, and it’s so lovely, I couldn’t put it down. It was a BEAUTIFUL story. I loved it.’
JUDY LEWIS, of California, USA, emailed to say: ‘I read your book and it was excellent. I enjoyed it immensely. It was one of those books I read non-stop from cover to cover until I was done. I can’t wait for the next one. I’m giving one to my Mother to read next. I have been telling everyone about it and a lot of people want to read it. I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed it. It is quite an accomplishment (Your characters are amazing! I still think about them) and you should be very, very proud.’
MICHELLE HALDANE, United Kingdom, emailed to say ‘Just to let you know that I am LOVING reading your book! I can't put it down and don't want it to end.’
JAN KERNAN, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, phoned when she
was midway through the book to say, she was going to wait until she was
but she just HAD to phone and tell the author she was absolutely LOVING
it. She said she loves the English language and she was taking her
time reading it because of the richness of the words the author used,
transported her right there, so she felt as if she was living amongst
the mountain people. She loves the characters, and thinks the story
She doesn’t want it to end! She also bought a copy of the book for
her daughter for her birthday. Later, once she had finished reading the
book, she said how much she loved it and the characters, and said she cannot
wait for the sequel! JAN’s final comments on the book: It's been
a very long time since I've so enjoyed reading a book, longed to finish
it and yet dreaded ending the experience. It was with a sigh of both
satisfaction and regret that I closed the last page of your wonderful
book. I'd dragged
it out as best I could to make it last longer, and savoured every word.
I adore the English language and I can only describe your writing as
''rich''. I was left in no doubt as to how Claw Mountain looked and
felt, and could
even smell the air in the changing seasons!! That horrific winter had
me running for hotties and blankets! I was surprised that the characters
suddenly turn around and say,''Hi, Jann'', because I was right there
with each one of them and knew them as well as if they were close family.
even found myself giving advice, warnings and congratulations!!
DI POUPARD, internationally known horse whisperer, founder of the SPCA
horse unit, Westville, South Africa, loved it. She loved the descriptions
of the mountains and the eagles. She thought the scene when the eagles
attack Obediah made her go cold. She asked the author if it was something
true or from her imagination. When the author said it was from her imagination,
she said she had a similar experience with owls, and the whole thing was
utterly astonishing and believable. She said she felt as if she was there,
and that the characters were all so believable, the story so compelling,
she could not put it down. She gave it to her husband, PIERRE, a very recently
retired banker to read. He had been so busy he had not read a book in about
four years. She said he is a very reticent man, but he raves about the
book to everybody he met about how fantastic it is. He said he had never
read such a well-researched book in his life, and that he just HAD to meet
GERALDINE TALBOT, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, loved the story and the characters. She said it was excellent and she couldn’t put it down, with a few shocks at the end. While she was reading it, her husband, Chris, kept complaining she never talked to him anymore. But she got cross with him and said she simply couldn’t put it down, especially as she was at a particularly exciting and dramatic part. She said that it would make a wonderful movie. She spent hours talking on the phone to the author about all the different characters and situations, and wants to hold an Oprah-style dinner to discuss every facet of the book with the author.
NEVILLE HODGSON, psychologist, South Africa, read “Falling Leaves and Mountain Ashes” while on holiday, and said he had to congratulate the author on a magnificent book. He said the characters really stand out and he thought Eli (the main antagonist) was such an intriguing and believable character. He spent forty minutes on the phone discussing all the characters and their situations. He ended up by saying that he would remember Mary, the main character, for the rest of his life!
LYNNETTE THERON, South Africa, said she had got the author’s phone number from the bookseller because she just had to phone to tell the author that she had bought a copy of the book and how very much she enjoyed it. She said it was excellent and so well-written, she could not put it down.
BRIGETTE JOHNSON, South Africa (who designed the cover), said she is absolutely LOVING it, and can’t believe how well the author can write. She said the descriptions were so powerful and evocative that she feels she is right there with the characters in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is especially taken with the main antagonist, Eli, and finds him an absolutely fascinating character. Ultimately, she sympathized with him greatly.
DAWN DARBY, South Africa, phoned to say she had finished the book and absolutely loved it. She said she found the end deeply, deeply moving, and that she cried.
SHARYN SINCLAIR-HANNOCKS, Australia, emailed: I’m still reading your book, and am so deeply into it, I’m loving it. Your writing makes me feel I am really there on that mountain. I cried when Zack came to take Mary back home. (Will respond fully when she has finished the book.)
AMELLE STOW, Pinetown, phoned to say she is halfway through reading the book and that she is finding it excellent. She said right from the word go she was ‘captivated’ and ‘couldn’t put it down’, and that she was ‘right there with the characters’. Even though she was full up with the ‘flu, she couldn’t stop reading it.
ANNETTE HANDLEY-CHANDLER, Sag Harbour, USA emailed: I have been reading my copy this summer - perfect summer reading... and love it. It is a book to get lost in which is just what I have wanted these past weeks. A later email stated: As for your book, it is wonderful! I got lost in it and this is what I love in a reading experience … Your book deserves all the accolades it is getting! Amazing.
KAREN WORTH, American lady, Howick, South Africa, said she thought it was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. She thought the characters were amazing, and the descriptions of the mountains so magnificent and so real, she felt as if she was actually there. She had been to the area as a child and it was exactly as she remembered it. She loved little Emma, the feisty mountain child and thought the little doomed friendship between her and the young boy from a neighbouring clan, with whom her clan was feuding, seemed like Romeo and Juliet. She told her husband, “This book, this woman – It’s so amazing, I HAVE to go and see her before I go to America. ( She did.)
SUZETTE MEIRING: nursing sister at an old age home, Pietermaritzburg, said somebody had lent her the book, and she read it non-stop over a week. She said it was wonderful, and she didn’t want it to end. She loved the main character, Mary and her mystic child, Jed, for his affinity for animals and Nature. She said she loved it so much, she can’t wait to read the next book of the series.
JOY NAIDOO; Ashburton, said it was divine, just divine! She thought the book was absolutely brilliant.
SHAUN EBELTHITE, student, Grahamstown, South Africa, emailed to say: Whenever time allows, I’ve been sitting down with your book and I am enjoying it so much. Mary’s personality jumps off the page! Shaun later emailed to say: I read another chapter of your book yesterday. I haven't had very much time for reading. I'm enjoying it so much though. I love the way you manage to keep your reader interested with everyday type of goings-on so that it feels natural. And you write so realistically about the time in which the book is set, you can feel the research that's gone into the book as you read so that it comes across as very real. I can’t wait for these holidays coming up so that I can give it the attention it deserves. Shaun emailed again to say: I'm still reading your book and loving it! You've actually managed to make me sympathise with Eli! I can’t remember who, but a famous author somewhere once said that the most gifted writers are those who can create a villain and then force their reader to bond with, or feel an affiliation with, that villain.
Final email: I just finished Falling Leaves and Mountain Ashes and
now I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself, without having
your book to turn to in my spare time. I feel like I’ve lost a friend!
SANDI KOENIG, South Africa, emailed to say she has nearly finished the book and has loved every minute of it!
CELIA VERGARI, South Africa, said she only reads at night and she loved the book so much, found it so compelling, that she couldn’t wait to go to bed every night just to read it. Then she found herself reading it into the early hours of the morning. She did not want it to end. She was fascinated by the character of Eli. She said it is one the best books she has ever read, and she absolutely loved it. She can’t wait to read the next book of the series.
PEET OELOFSE, South Africa, said he is an avid reader, and has read many, many books, but he’s never read anything like this book. He said he could not put it down, and would often read till late into the night. He found Eli an intriguing character, which, despite his evil deeds, redeems himself. He could help empathizing with him.
KRISTA JO MERGET, New York, USA, emailed: whenever I get a chance to pick up your book, I have such a hard time putting it down. From the first few pages, it had me. God grant me a day alone with Brenda's book! A later email: Meanwhile, I'm still stealing as much time as I can to read your book. Mary and Zack just reunited.... I knew it!!! I knew she really loved him…
COLIN CASON, South Africa: This is a fantastic book! Fantastic! Fantastic! It’s a book I’ll read five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times! I’m not kidding – I’ve got a whole range of books written by my previous favourite author and I’ve read them all about ten times each. I lived with the characters, it was so real. There’s a whole long line of people to whom I’ve raved about the book, and who want to read it! Now, I just have to know – when’s the next one coming out, because I can’t wait?
TAMMY McLAREN, Colin Cason’s mother: I’m halfway through the
book and it’s magnificent! When the character, Mary, stands on the
top of the mountain and looks down on the valley below, I can see what
she is seeing. I’m absolutely loving it! It’s beautiful!
TESSA BARNARD, South Africa: phoned to say that she had finished reading the book and just had to phone the author to let her know how much she loved it. She said she just could not put it down, to the extent that her husband commented that it must be some book, because he’d never seen her like that with any other book she had read. She always had her nose in it. She said it was an excellent story about pioneer life, and she loved the characters.
SHARON HARTOG, Durban, South Africa sms’ed to say: I’ve just finished your book I bought from the Book Fair in Pinetown. Wot an amazing book! Can’t wait for the sequels. It is definitely a film in the making. She later said it is the book is one the best she’s ever read, and has been telling everybody about it.
CLAUDETTE JACKSON, Durban, South Africa, said: This is a book that gets you into trouble, because you can’t do anything but read it. You can’t work, you can’t cook, you can’t sleep! It is a wonderful book. So different!
BEVERLEY BIGGAR, Durban, South Africa, said: I could not put this book down! It’s spellbinding. The descriptions are magnificent. In other books, I skip description and carry on with the story, but with this one I read every word, and felt as if I was right there. As for the twists in the end!!
BERNICE AVERY, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, emailed to say: I started reading your novel at breakfast this morning and it’s definitely “hooked” me! She later emailed: Brenda, I can't put your book down. When will the next instalment hit the shelves because I don't think I'll get any writing done if it's soon as I'll be too busy reading your book! And again: Wouldn't it be something to see it on the big screen one day? (I'm onto the section beginning what I think will be Eli's transformation.)
NGONI ZENDA, Zimbabwean, borrowed the book from his friend, Luke Karamba, who told him to read it because it was so good, and he knew that he was such an avid reader. Ngoni said he read it nonstop and that it is a masterpiece. He said he could not put it down, and he felt he was right back in those times. He said it was very sad when Mary died. She was such a strong person and she did so much for the mountain people. The transformation of Eli, the main antagonist, from barbarian to a civilized person, he found intriguing, and he absolutely loved the bullwhip scene when he humiliated the pompous young man at Skyland. He said the snake scene with little Jed in the church was riveting, and that the preacher Reverend Hubbly was not fit to lead a flock, since he tried to instil fear into the congregation. He felt so sad for the mountain people when they were forced to get out of their mountain homes to make way for the National Park. He spoke for a further half-an-hour on all the characters and the different scenes, recalling so many that he loved.
LUKE KARAMBA, Zimbabwean, said he could not put it down, and kept getting annoyed at his wife, because she would borrow it to read, and he couldn’t find it. They both read and absolutely loved it. He gave it to Ngoni (above) because he knew he was widely read and Luke thought it was such a good book, he wanted him to read it, to see what he thought of it.
EDNA McDONALD, Australia, wrote to say: It’s great news about your book being published overseas. I am not surprised. It is wonderful. Enjoyed it so much.
SHIRLEY BROWN, South Africa, told the author that she absolutely loved
it and thought it was stunning. She said she loved the scene with the eagles
which was a profound spiritual experience for her.
ANN GARDNER, United Kingdom, emailed to say:
NEETHA SINGH, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, said on the phone:
MRS LESLEY ROBINSON, Howick, South Africa, said on the phone:
CAROL MacCULLUM, Pietermaritzburg said she loved the book and that it was brilliant. She loved the descriptions and the characters were so true to life.
SEWRAJ GHURPARSADH, Pietermaritzburg, phoned to say that he had finished reading the book and that he just had to phone to let me know that it was excellent, a remarkable piece of work. He said it was so descriptive and real, he felt he was right there. He loved the characters, Zachary Thomas, and the antagonist, Eli, and said that the main character, Mary, was in a class of her own. He said the parts at the end with Eli moved him so deeply he had to put the book aside for a while, before starting reading again. He said he is an avid reader, reading about 20 books a month.
SALLY BOSCH, Durban, phoned to say that she got the author’s book
and that she is responsible for making her late for work this morning because
she couldn’t stop reading my book. She says it’s fantastic,
and she can’t keep her nose out of it.
AN OLD LADY whose name the author wasn’t able to get, rushed past the author and said ‘That book is fabulous!’
JENNY CAIRNS, Hillcrest, South Africa, ordered the book from the author and phoned to say she was loving it so much and that the book was set out so beautifully. Thereafter, she bought another three copies of it, for a friend’s birthday and one for each of two book clubs that she runs, one for older women, and one for younger woman, to give them an appreciation of good writing. She spoke to the author and said that out of 100, she gives the book 100. She said it is fantastic and she couldn’t put it down. She said she cannot understand why it hasn’t been a huge bestseller in this country, because it puts books like the “Spuds” series (huge best seller in South Africa) in the shade. (It was explained that the book was not publicised.) She said she is going to write a review on the book for Fair Lady magazine. She later phoned to say that all the other people in the book clubs love it, and all they all want to know is when the SECOND book is coming out!
JOE NAICKER, Durban, South Africa, phoned to say that he had nearly
finished the book and that it was brilliant. He loved the characters,
and the writing
was so descriptive, it felt like he was there. He kept saying, ‘It
is beautiful, beautiful!’ He later phoned to say that he had finished
the book and it was stunningly BRILLIANT! That it was so warm and tender
and the characters seemed so real, and how much he could identify with
them. It was very moving. And that a disclosure right at the end comes
as a shock. He was so enthralled all the way through and it moved him so
much that he had to phone and thank the author for the thrill reading it
ELAINE BEADON spoke briefly to the author and said: Loved it! Well worth the read. Of the characters, Mary stood out the most. She was wonderful. The story was gripping.
LOIS WATT-PRINGLE spoke very briefly to the author, and said: I absolutely loved it! I’ve recommended it to a lot of other people.
ESTELLE HINCKLEY told the author: Absolutely loving it! FANTASTIC! I’ve read many books but this is the best!
LINDA WYNGAARD told the author that there is genius in this book. It’s an exciting book, and uplifting. That the author’s love of nature is apparent – the love of nature comes through in the writing.
SHIRLEY FREEBORN told the author that she is really, really enjoying the book. She can’t put it down and she even sits in the bath to read, and till 1 o’clock in the morning. She says that she has the author to thank for introducing her to reading – she’d never read a book from cover to cover before, always getting bored after a few pages/chapters. She said this book has now given her an appetite for reading. Now she can’t wait to read the next one, indeed, the rest of the 5-book series. She said just HAS to buy all five.
CYRIL JAMES told the author that he’d finished reading her book,
and that he was so moved at times that he ‘teared and teared and
teared’. He said it is a wonderful book, and he asked how she had
managed to write such a book.
MAUREEN WEBBSTOCK, South Africa, told the author: ‘Your book is out of this world! It’s breathtaking. I couldn’t put it down! I just couldn’t stop reading it! The characters are just wonderful.’ She kept saying ‘This book … this book . . . is really something special!’
RITA DIXON, South Africa, is still reading the novel, but she said: ‘Your book is wonderful. I can’t put it down. Your descriptions are so beautiful. And your characters ….’ She later said she’d finished the book and that it was so beautiful, and she absolutely loved it. And the characters were incredible. She said Jed is a beautiful character.’
LYNN CHAMBERS, South Africa, came rushing up to the author and said: ‘I bought your book two weeks ago, and I’m loving it! I’m loving it! I’m just not getting enough time to read it!’ (She’ll give further comments when finished.)
DAPHNE LOMBARD, South Africa: ‘I enjoyed your book immensely. Couldn’t put it down. Excellent!’
MILLY RUSSELL, South Africa, said ‘Loved it! It was excellent. It was a lovely, lovely story with very interesting characters. The descriptions and the scenery were beautiful. I was right there in the story.
JAIMIE BLACK, South Africa, emailed to say: ‘I‘m writing to you regarding your book “Falling Leaves and Mountain Ashes”. Throughout the week it took me to read the book I could barely put it down, I felt as though I was living with Mary and Zack on Claw mountain and that I could feel all of the emotions that they felt. I think that the story was very interesting and it definitely increased my knowledge of how mountain people lived in the past and of all the difficulties and challenges they had to face…I thought that the book was very descriptive and well written and I look forward to reading more of your stories. Thank you for a lovely story.’
BARBARA OSBOURNE, Kokstad, told the author’s niece that she read the book in two days because she just couldn’t put it down. She loved it.
There are many, many more in a similar vein that have not been recorded.
RICHIE DICKSON, Shongweni, South Africa, told the author he’d read her book and that it’s magnificent and marvellous!
JENNY POLLARD, South Africa, told the author that she loved the book! In fact, she could read it again! She enjoyed it very much and the characters were very good.
CAROL CLAUSEN, Hillcrest, South Africa, told the author, that she bought the book on the Saturday and read it in one sitting. She said she just couldn’t stop reading it, and cannot praise it enough. She said it is beautiful. Absolutely fantastic. And the characters are absolutely fantastic. At first she hated Eli, but then when she understood what had happened to him he gained her sympathy. She said the schools should take it to learn how to writegood character studies.
SANDY DIXON, Merrivale, South Africa, emailed: ‘I LOVE your book! It’s really good and I even cried in a few places. You really are a very good writer and I’m proud to know you.’
LIZ BRUCE, South Africa, said that she loved it, that it was excellent, and that Brenda is such a good writer she found herself reading until three o’clock in the morning.
ESTER LEE, Durban, South Africa, said she thought the book (cover) looked stunning and she had been having very positive feedback from the ‘lucky’ ones who had read the book. She looked forward to holding it and reading it. She has since read the novel and found it EXCELLENT, with fantastic characters and story, and the most beautiful cover.
VANESSA TALBOT, South Africa, said she thought it was excellent.
RONEL WOOD, phoned to tell the author she had read her book up to page 183 and just had to phone and tell her that’s she is an AMAZING writer. She’d bought the book about a year ago, and when it was seen on the bookshelf by her friends, MONICA and ROGER ASHE, they insisted she read it NOW, saying it is a fantastic book! She says she cannot put it down, but finds herself wanting to go slow because she doesn’t want it to end. She said the setting is so beautiful and real and the characters jump out the pages at you. She said she and her two friends discuss all the episodes and characters, and ROGER said that ‘It gets even better’ to which she replied, ‘I don’t see HOW it can get any better!’ ROGER then said, ‘Read on then you’ll know what I mean.’
MERILYN HOWES told the author that she loved her loved, and can’t wait for the next one!
PIA REDDING told the author she was halfway through the book and couldn’t put it down. She said it is just awesome!
NADINE OLLEY told the author that the book is absolutely gorgeous. Really beautiful!
ROB HILL told the author that something good came out of the heartache of the mountain people…(the Shenandoah Park). He discussed the book at length with the author, and said he found it so interesting, especially the historical aspects, and well-researched.
A lady named LEONIE told the author that the book is brilliant. She said the characters are so strong, and in the end, she even liked (the antagonist) Eli.
KATHY DOBBIN, Pietermaritzburg, said it was absolutely amazing. The characters were so alive, she lived them.
DI SCLANDERS said: A gem of a book. I simply could not put it down. Beautifully written. She loved the story and the characters were brilliantly portrayed. She felt she was right there.
ELIZABETH SOUNES & ANN McGARVEY said they loved it. The description was magnificent and the characters so real.
ANDREA said she was very impressed. She enjoyed it because the characters and setting was very good. She read it in a few days, because she couldn’t put it down.
MILLIE RUSSELL said: Loved it! It was excellent! It was a lovely, lovely story. Very interesting characters. The descriptions of the scenery were magnificent, and I felt as if I was right there in the story.
MICHELLE GRAN said: Loved it! Absolutely amazing. So real. Mary, the main character was so determined. A real eye-opener. Really, really inspiring.
GRESCHEN GREEN said: Absolutely loved it! It was so real. A masterpiece!
ELAINE BECHARD said: Absolutely loved it!
SCHREINER Rosemary, Jim, and Kate: Rosemary emailed: My husband Jim, my daughter Kate and I were at the farmers market in Shongweni about 6 weeks ago. We met you there – where you were promoting your book. My husband bought the book for me. Jim and Kate have both read the book and I am halfway through it. Brenda, we are blown away!! It is an amazing piece of work and Jim’s comment was that it was in the league of James A Mitchener. Wow!!! We can’t wait to read the sequels. What an amazing author you are – the book is riveting and just the research must have taken such a long time. We feel very blessed to have met you.
DEBORAH EDWARDS, told the author: I am ¾ of the way through and really enjoying it. It is too beautiful for words.
SHARON PETZER, told the author: Just a beautiful beautiful story. The characters are so real. I didn’t want it to end.
AUDREY COMINS told the author: It was beautiful!
MARINA THESNER told the author: I have read it twice. Excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
JENNIFER COX told the author: I really enjoyed it. Brilliant writing.
Really lovely story. Beautiful ending.