The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Adelsverein: The Gathering. By Celia Hayes

Adelsverein the Gathering - Book One of The Adelsverein Trilogy Adelsverein: The Gathering.  By Celia Hayes, Strider Nolan Media, Inc., 2008, 365 pages,  available at Amazon


Review by Dick Stanley, author of  Leaving The Alamo: Texas Stories After Vietnam, The Texas Scribbler at  


"This is a dandy historical novel of the German settlement of the Hill Country which I recommend with caveats. I was familiar with the basic facts but learned a few things, such as the details of Baron Meuesbach's peace treaty with the Comanches. It was unique in Texas and more or less held until the last adult male of the murderous tribe was exterminated by the U.S. Army. I also didn't know how inept the pre-Meusebach Verein leaders were or that they employed their own uniformed soldiers to protect the settler families.

As a two-time indie author, I finally realized that I had yet to read someone else's indie book. I figured author Celia Hayes (the blogosphere and Milblogging's "Sgt. Mom") and her Adelsverein Texana trilogy was the best place to start. It was a good decision. This first book of the trilogy paints an epic in satisfying old-fashioned style that effectively lures a lover of such reads on and on.

Now the caveats: Hayes leaves almost nothing to the reader's imagination. That can grate on folks raised on movies and television. Unlike readers of the 19th century, we don't need exhaustive description of major and minor actors. I also could have done without all the adverbs. Seemingly every speech is characterized, rather than trusting to the context to convey the meaning. Nevertheless, the main characters are real and lovable and their tragedies and joys won my empathy and spurred my curiosity to find out what would happen to them next.

I was appalled at the typos and misspellings, by my count on 46 of the book's 365 pages. Surely, most of them could have been avoided, and a second edition to fix them is warranted. Still, Hayes is sufficiently talented and her story so well crafted that I will buy the second installment, "The Sowing." It concerns the Civil War years, during which the real German settlers had the ill-luck to be Unionists in a predominantly Confederate state. I want to find out how the Beckers and the Steinmetzs fare. Tragedy ahead, I expect. I'll be hoping, though, to find that the proofreading has improved."

1 comment:

Celia Hayes said...

Hey - thanks for the read, Will!
Umm ... yes, the second and third books were edited by two people (instead of only one), so the typo count should diminish considerably.
But interesting things will happen - and best of all, I only had to make up up one or two incidents entirely out of my imagination!