Those Who Love by Irving Stone (Post 1)

I am still at the very beginning of Irving Stone’s novelization of John and Abigail Adam’s story, but I feel I must touch base and let you know about it. Reading a novel about the era has brought the issues to life.

Right now in the novel, John and Abigail have been married for just a few years. The Stamp Act angered many of the colonists, and John and Abigail received word that Bostonian civilians have been rebelling. Boston is 10 miles a way from John and Abigail, a safe distance. Yet, the burning of effigies and raids on parliamentary leaders’ homes affects them deeply. I am fascinated to recognize that these basic facts I would otherwise read about in passing, things that seem like sidebars compared to the later Boston Massacre and the fight at Lexington and Concord, were so really revolutionary when they happened. Violence against the crown’s representatives: wow, what an amazing first step.

It’s hard to remember when we read a history book that the Revolutionary War was a war that built up over decades to what it was. So few years after the French and Indian War, it’s clear that there is dissatisfaction and unrest. What would it have been like? Reading Irving Stone helps me to see one author’s interpretation of what might have been, and it is fascinating so far.

Way back, long before my blogging days, I read The Agony and the Ecstasy by Stone before and during my trip to Florence. I felt like I knew Michelangelo by the end of that trip. Although with my busy life and the other two books I’m in the midst of reading I’m finding Those Who Love to be a slower read for me, I am still delighting in the new world that is opening up. Novels give life to history in a way that a biography doesn’t. It is fascinating. 

Have you read any novels by Irving Stone before? Which do you recommend? How do you like to learn about history? Obviously, I’m in the “read anything you can” category, but I’m particularly enjoying this novelization.

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. The only thing I’ve read by Irving Stone is The Agony and the Ecstasy. It was years ago so I don’t remember the details but I lived being immersed in Florence and Michelangelo’s life and art. I love learning about history through novels, although there’s always that question in the back of my mind “how much of this is true and how much is the creativity of the author?”

    1. Amy C » I felt the same way about THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY. I loved reading it and then visiting Florence! This book is not as powerful….and it has such an awful sounding title….but it too is bringing me to the historical era, and I’m really enjoying that!

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