I found myself kind of frustrated with this book, to be perfectly honest. The premise is very interesting: a family in the pre-Civil War south, and all that they go through.The book starts out with a bang: the drowning of primary protagonist Mary Ann's two brothers. Then, things flash back -- and you would think that the drowning would be a big focus of the book because of the dramatic beginning.Not so. It's just something that happened.Unfortunately, there was a whole lot of telling and not much showing. Someone would be pregnant and then nine months' time would pass without anything apparently happening. Someone would get married, and they would always be blissfully happy. Never a moment's strife, even when a loved one or relative dies in the war.The book was also riddled with factual errors that were easy to look up and could have been corrected.And here's the kicker: the book is based on the author's own family members. The photos and information about the actual people in the book were, in my opinion, more interesting than the author's historical fiction work. I was very disappointed, because there could have been so much more interesting information presented in the tale. At the end of the day, it was like reading a family Bible: "so and so married such and such, and begat thus and so."