Read The Woodsman's Daughter by Gwyn Hyman Rubio Online


"Set in post-Civil War southern Georgia, the land of the longleaf pines, The Woodsman's Daughter chronicles the conflicts of the Miller family, seen mostly through Dalia Miller's eyes. Dalia is the brassy and beautiful elder daughter of Monroe Miller, a shrewd turpentine farmer haunted by a devastating secret. Anguished but resourceful, Dalia strives to create a better lif"Set in post-Civil War southern Georgia, the land of the longleaf pines, The Woodsman's Daughter chronicles the conflicts of the Miller family, seen mostly through Dalia Miller's eyes. Dalia is the brassy and beautiful elder daughter of Monroe Miller, a shrewd turpentine farmer haunted by a devastating secret. Anguished but resourceful, Dalia strives to create a better life for herself and will stop at nothing to protect her family - but the sins of the father are never far behind." Gwyn Hyman Rubio brings to life a South in transition: the majestic estates and the humble shantytowns, the swaying pines and the insular bustle of small-town living. Against this backdrop, the narrative follows the twists and turns of Dalia's emotions as she struggles with her father's legacy, and ultimately her own....

Title : The Woodsman's Daughter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780641938610
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Woodsman's Daughter Reviews

  • Krista Liebrum
    2019-01-20 15:02

    Depressing. Interesting, not necessarily good, but really depressing. I read it for the sake of reading it. The plot was slow and dropped off. There really wasn't a consistent flow into the 'new century' described in the book and the characters were stagnant in personality. Dalia's character annoyed me, she was needy, greedy, cold and plotted against other characters too often. She was the villain in a book about her. She was the worst main character I have seen in a while.The best point of view in the book is the father, who dies early in the book. Katie Mae and Dalia's second mother in-law were the only enjoyable characters.

  • Amy
    2019-02-07 14:04

    I listened to this book on c.d. By the 2nd chapter or so I was totally hooked and disturbed. I listened to the whole thing despite the urges to turn it off and deliver it back to the library directly. I needed something for my then commute of about an hour and a half each way from school to home. I kept thinking that it had to get better. Despite my thought, every time it got the least bit better it plunged into more terribleness. I would not recommend this book to anyone. In fact, I wish I could purge it from my memory.

  • Laura Hoyler
    2019-01-20 10:58

    I tried to read this, I really did. I got about half way through and kept looking at the pile of books I still want to read, and couldn't waste another day on this one!

  • Louise
    2019-02-04 11:12

    A thoroughly engrossing novel set in Southern Georgia in the late nineteenth-century, Ms. Rubio delivers a complex and captivating saga. With well-drawn characters, tragic events and drama, Ms. Rubio shows a deep understanding of the power, conflicts and conditions that threaten our lives as women and men.Monroe Miller is a self-made turpentine farmer who owns thousands of acres of pine woods which he refers to as 'Miller Town.' With great respect for Monroe and living on his land, his workers toil long hours for their boss. Monroe has an ongoing conflict with Lollie Morris who is a neighbour with more money than he. Monroe spends a great deal of time consuming alcohol which is the only way he feels he can deal with the mistake he made in his life. Monroe's home life is wrought with hatred from his wife Violet and his eldest daughter, 15-year-old Dalia who sees Monroe as a crass and arrogant drunk. Monroe tries to make amends with his family for the mistake he made but Dalia finds out what the mistake was and begins to hate her father with a deeper passion and conviction.Violet, addicted to opium, spends most of her time in bed and is angered over Monroe's weekend drinking binges. Dalia is bold, outspoken and spoiled but eventually takes on the task of protecting her younger sister Nellie Ann, a sickly girl who has been blind from birth. Dalia is neglected by both her drug addicted and distant mother and her absent, drunken father which leaves her life wrought with hard choices and truly heart rendering moments. After learning of her father's mistake, Dalia becomes the axe that drives a wedge into any semblance of family the Miller's hoped to have.Katie Mae, the family's long time cook, plays the role of 'mediator' in the Miller household. A smart woman who knows the people of the Miller household well and is adept at knowing what makes them tick.Dalia, at nineteen, moves away to the town of Samson with what she sees as her "effeminate" son Marion and her daughter Clara Nell. Dalia's sights are set on hooking a rich man and marrying him. She marries Dr. Herman McKee the town dentist but soon realizes her marriage does not provide the stability, love and happiness that she so craves. Dalia repeats the distance and neglect that Monroe and Violet visited upon her with her own son Marion. Never holding the child, hugging or kissing him. Dalia instead focuses on Clara Nell and literally smothers the girl in protection and adoration. Dalia refuses to allow Clara Nell to be a child, to play jump rope with her school chums or play at recess. Dalia removes Clara Nell from school and hires tutors to teach her at home where she can keep a closer and tighter hold on her daughter.Eventually Clara Nell runs away to marry Dayton Morris who is the son of Monroe's enemy Lollie Morris. Clara Nell being a free spirit, with a mind of her own, learns about Margaret Sanger and her fight for equality for women which bolsters her confidence and spiritedness in making choices in her life.Through the novel, Dalia is an ambivalent, self-centered and selfish woman who becomes hardened and sullen from her years of trials and heartbreaking situations in her life. Just as Monroe finds redemption for his sinful soul, so does Dalia through her breakdown and stay at the Milledgeville State Hospital where "the atmosphere is safe and repetitive..." Family visits with Dalia prove to be silent and without conversation. Marion is frustrated with his mother's silence but Nurse Hendricks reminds him that "melancholia is unpredictable...we must keep our spirits up."Through Vita, another patient in the hospital, Dalia begins the process of finding redemption, peace and understanding. Upon her return home, Dalia strives to make peace. She sees Marion's baby son, her grandson and says: "Why Marion, I didn't see it at first, but he has your hands. Those long delicate fingers. The first thing I noticed when you were born were your fingers...I'm already falling for this little boy." Marion is deeply touched by his mother's statement saying: "Oh, Mama, you don't know how happy I am that this day has finally come..." Dalia's heart is afire for Marion and says: "My sweet Marion...come here and let me hold you.""The Woodsman's Daughter" is a superbly crafted novel showing remarkable detail and emotional depth. The novel clearly displays that as a writer, Ms. Rubio can establish herself in any genre. A standing ovation goes to this author. This is a novel you won't soon forget!

  • Jessi
    2019-02-12 11:05

    I really liked the first half of The Woodsman's Daughter. Dalia is young and strong willed, I understood everything she did, it everything seemed to jive. She loved her father but after being let down so many times she had to turn away from him. She loved her sister but understood that she was manipulative. Her emotions and reactions were somthing I could relate to and understand.Midway through the story she becomes a mother and turns in to a cold and withholding woman and it got worse from there,by the end she unrecognizable her whole life run and ruined by her "fears" which I am not clear where a lot of these fears manifested,some where understandable ie: concern over a cheating spouse or sex in general. The way she treated the children,the way she worried for Clara Nell that she would die early, Nellie was born sick and feeble Clara Nell was the picture of health, Walter was a perfect husband and father. Blah the last half ruined the book for me.

  • Petra
    2019-01-29 15:21

    Well, as a mum, this was a hard book to continue reading. At times I wanted to shake and slap some of the characters! I suppose that is a good indicator of how well I was able to immerse myself in the story and characters. But it was painful and heart breaking at times.I can't say much more without going into details, but if you think you won't read it, I can let you know some more details :-)

  • Stephanie
    2019-01-29 13:18

    really whiny story and i had to force myself to keep reading. I really didn't like the attitude of the whole book toward marriage and the relationships between men and women. It was just bitter and sad and I feel bad for anyone who agrees with that view. I guess I'm just really fortunate to have a healthy relationship with my husband full of communication and caring.

  • Kathleen McRae
    2019-01-27 13:08

    This book had a good storyline behind it but the writing wasn't consistent.It would grab your interest then lose it . I think it kept dropping the storyline so it was difficult to keep focused .It did have a glimpse into societal values in that time period.

  • Catherine
    2019-01-25 17:12

    I randomly picked this up at the library, thought it would be an interesting time period to read about, but it was so boring I finally gave up. I hate to not finish books, but I couldn't even make it halfway through. I haven't disliked a book this much in a long time.

  • Roseanne
    2019-01-27 13:21

    This was an interesting book. . .the writing is great, but I'm still undecided about whether I liked the story or not. It was definitely a compelling read. I found it difficult to pull myself away.

  • Sherri
    2019-01-21 16:01

    I listened to this audio book as I spent time sewing. I had several life interruptions throughout October so I had to listen to it on and off over a 8 week period. It is a l o n g story. One that almost makes you want to give up. Not a lot of people to really care much for so that also makes it hard to want to carry on. If you enjoy reading about one person's unhappy life and the unhappy decisions she makes in her adult life and the effects it has on those around her then you might like this book

  • Denise
    2019-01-20 17:04

    Too dark and depressing for my taste....

  • Alphawoman
    2019-02-05 15:22

    sneaked a peek at the reviews on Amazon before adding this book to my list of 2008 reads. First of all, I found this book on the shelves of "R's" at the downtown Main branch held up as a favorite of the staff...staff pick. Happily I grabbed it because I loved "Icy Sparks" and I know that GHR lives in my hometown (which is also made a minor role in the book as a small town that the wife of the son hails from).In my defense, I have been reading The Book Club in between the two listed books. I did not finish TBC but returned it day before yesterday half read. Could not relate to the characters blah blah blah.This not Icy Sparks. Somewhere in the middle of it I thought of Scarlet O'Hara and sure enough, it was mentioned in the other reviews.I found little sympathy for the main character as a young girl and could not identify her bitterness for her father, since his "sin" was revealed only after 50 or 60 (maybe 100) pages of the first part of the book. I even felt sorry for the old geezer and felt his reluctance to return to his home. Why even go home? Why not make yourself a more comfortable home elsewhere? Say, in Millerown? Anyway, I did not understand the hostility between the daughters and father, and the father punishing himself to return to them. Despite the "I love you's" and the love making she heard through the walls.I just did not like them. All but the Mammy character. I hated that the girl who was so flip and disrespectful to her father could not own up to setting the barn on fire but allowing Mammy to take the rap and to be banished from the home.BTW, all this takes place after the Civil War around the turn of the century.A study in the lives of women, Delia as a turn of the century woman, her daughter as a flapper, her mother as a Civil War survivor and drug addict and Mammy as a free born black woman, slave none the less.I read it at break neck speed unable to put it down because the story flowed easily. No big words to look up (as love in the time of cholera). Good story none the less, unsympathetic characters whoes motivation was sketchy at worst, left to the imagination at best. Some characters were but mere ghosts coming into the story as a minor character in a play enters from stage right and exits stage left. I did enjoy the brief introduction of the old Aunt (where the hell did she come from? The Miller side or her mothers side? Where did she get the money to live high on the hog, unencumbered by having to marry to survive. Her mothers people became poor after the war, her fathers people were dirt poor and he was a self made man. Made little sense to me) who had an affair or fling with a scoundrel from Charleston...Rhett Butler of course!Predicable what was going to happen.I read Icy Sparks years ago and loved it. Knew the author had been inspired by the Berea Writing Program and Icy Sparks was a prodigy of that program. Icy Sparks was her masterpiece, and this book is just a writing exercise to keep her chops greased until she finds another character like Icy.

  • Sallee
    2019-02-03 11:10

    This is evidently one of those books that you either like or hate. I like southern fiction and this book I felt was the epitome of southern fiction. Dalia grows up with a father who is always gone to the pine forrests where he has a turpentine business. His wife feels he is uncouth and common as he returns smelly and filty. She is addicted to Laudanum. Dalia's younger sister, Nellie was born blind. This is because Mr. Miller contracted syphlis from a prostitute when his wife, pregnant with Dalia refused his advances. Nellie thier second child was born with the disease and his wife has it also. The guilt and shame tears the family apart. Nellie dies, Mr. Miller drowns and his wife loses his business and land and dies of the same disease. Dalia leaves and moves to the small town of Samson where she marries Dr. McKee, a dentist who she thought would give her the life she desired. She finds he is cruel and wants to keep her isolated. His housekeeper is on his side. Dr. Mckee does die as he had a heart problem and was physicaly frail. Pregant, she gives birth to a son who looks like her deceased husband and she finds it hard to show the child the love he wants so badly.She remarries and finds herself satisfied for the most part. She has a daughter and is very over protective of her and as Clara Nell grows up, of course she rebells. She ends up marrying the son of the man who ruined her mother's father. Remorse, guilt and undeserved death drives Dalia insane. This story also has forgiveness and redemption. I enjoyed this book but I could see it might not be for everyone.

  • Sandy
    2019-01-28 09:07

    I loved Icy Sparks, so this one caught my eye on the bargain book's the author's second novel. :o)I wasn't sure about it at first, but the characters were so rich and human that I couldn't stop reading. One thing I really liked about the story is that no one was perfect...not in character, action, or appearance...just like all of us. It's the story of Dalia, a young girl then woman whose experiences with her father, mother and sister in childhood shape who she is and the choices she makes with her own husbands, children, and family. Although the story is set in the late 1800s, early 1900s, it contains themes that anyone reading could relate to. I finished the book with a lump in my throat but with hope for Dalia and her family's future...with hope for love despite the pain. One of the things Dalia says to her daughter is that to truly appreciate love and passion, one has to understand pain and loss. That resonated with me.

  • Pat
    2019-02-14 11:55

    Okay, I did not really use the MP3 but I like to have the picture of the actual one I listened to on my page so I can recall it if I want to.... Now, having confessed, I think the book was sometimes long winded, but in the end, the story was interesting and all 16 discs were probably necessary. The main character, Dahlia, had a few hard breaks in her life but more so I would call her selfish and self centered. Conniving and spoiled come to mind as well. Several things that happen as she grows that are sad but really, I would say the end of the book had its good points. How she treated her son, and then, her husband, Walter. And she did have some compassion for the less fortunate, I must admit. Interesting story.

  • Lamadia
    2019-01-17 15:17

    This book was a slog to get through. It started out extremely slow and was in desperate need of a plot. As it went on, I went from disliking the main character, to hating her and wanting to slap her. She behaves completely irrationally and doesn't take any responsibility for her actions. She's a despicable person and a terrible mother. If the first part was supposed to show us why she acts so terribly as an adult, it's not sufficient. I couldn't even feel sorry for her at the end when so much goes badly, because I wanted her to suffer. It's like this book really wanted to be Gone With the Wind in a slightly later time period, but failed.

  • Leslie
    2019-02-04 16:53

    I'm undecided about this one. Had some beautifully descriptive writing and some flawed, interested, well-fleshed-out characters, but something about it still left me a little cold. Maybe it was that all the flawed and realistically developed characters were pretty unlikeable. The main character, Dalia, was completely unsympathetic to me after she became a mother. The ending was supposed to provide her with some redemption, but I didn't really feel it. On the whole it was an interesting and probably worthwhile read, but I'm looking forward to moving on to something that will make me run harder on the elliptical at the gym.

  • Trish Clifford
    2019-01-26 11:55

    I had fallen in love with "Icy Sparks" so was pleased to find another book by her....This one was interesting in that no single character was completely sympathetic or completely unsympathetic. There were a series of missed connections, missed opportunities to communicate and clarify. Ultimately, I found my sympathies lying mostly with "the Woodsman" himself, despite the whole "sins of the fathers" thing.The vivid descriptions of the outdoor scenes were incredible. I could smell the sting of the pine resin. Maybe that's why I sympathized more with the dad...His world was more appealing.

  • Kathy
    2019-01-18 16:15

    I made it to page 250, and then said "I can't do this any more." This was some poor imitation of "Gone With The Wind" meets "Main Street." (I realize that this book is set post-Civil War, but the "plantation" feel is very much there.) There are so many authors who have done it better. I remember liking Icy Sparks so I was very hopeful about this book. What a disappointment! There are some descriptive passages about the woods that are well done, but that's not enough to rescue this book from being a failure.

  • Pam
    2019-02-14 10:57

    Well-written with colorful, interesting characters. They are at once lovable and mind-mindbogglingly inept at having healthy relationships of any kind. The descriptions of the logging towns and of restoration-era Georgia are clear and take the reader to those times and places. It is not a book about the South rising again, neither is it about the destruction of that region and its heritage. I found myself really, really hoping for the best for each character. The entire cast is, however, a tragic lot and the book leaves you feeling frustrated at their poor decisions. Well worth the time to read, but don't wait for the phoenix to arise out of this story.

  • Deb
    2019-02-08 17:07

    The first 40 or 50 pages were so dull... I had such a hard time getting interested. But then I was stuck on a long bus trip with a school field trip ... So I was forced to read it. Predictable. I won' t give away the story, but it was as if the author had some good ideas, not necessarily related, and wanted to use them in this book. Why all the food descriptions? Why was everyone so hot all the time? I get it, it,s the south in you need to constantly be describing everyone,s sweat? The book didn't, totally stink, but I don,t recommend it either.

  • Kathleen
    2019-02-12 17:07

    I just couldn't finish it. I didn't get any plot. The characters were really ,really interesting. A mother who mutters crazy things under her breath, a father who literally creates his own town just to be away from his real home, a sweet blind daughter who really isn't so sweet. I really wanted to keep reading because I found them all so interesting, but I just couldn't find a plot. I could only read about 80 pages - I hope it didn't get really good at page 90.

  • Gisele
    2019-01-23 12:08

    If it were possible, I would have rated this book 2.5 stars and then only because of the ending. Not badly written, this novel failed to reach me. I have yet to read a book where I really disliked the protagonist as much, as well as the majority of the characters, most of which were cold and self-serving. A dark and depressing story : (

  • Judy
    2019-02-13 16:10

    Post Civil War southern Georgia, turpentine farming, and "a family rocked by illness, addiction and bitter rivalry". The past lays its imprint across generations. Beautiful depiction of nature's beauty and a slice of Southern life.

  • Christine
    2019-02-14 09:21

    the book has--for me one fatal flaw--the author has nightingales singing in Mississippi. There are NO NIGHTINGALES in the Americas, so, obviously, there are none in Mississippi. An error like that destroys the author's reliability for me. I will not read another book by this author.

  • Sherry
    2019-01-17 10:13

    Gwyn Rubio's tale is gripping in it's depiction of a family caught in the throws of syphilis. The effects of the deadly nightmarish disease creates terror both thrilling and in the end heroic. A great read.

  • Pamela Pickering
    2019-01-17 14:06

    It's been a while since I've read this book so I'm doubtful my review will be very helpful. I can say that I usually remember quite a bit about the books I read and this one seems to not be memorable. Not a good thing but it is not standing out as one I intensely disliked either.

  • Lori
    2019-02-12 16:20

    I couldn't even make it through two chapters before I gave up on it. I found it bogged down in uninteresting details and I thought the characters were boring too.

  • Lisa
    2019-02-03 09:11

    I gave up on this book. It was not keeping me interested.