Reviews of A Wave From Mama
Some reviewers loved the history…Click To Read The Full Review!
This is a beautifully written novel about patience, family, and letting go. The characters are well developed, the minute Vent jumps (literally and figuratively) onto the scene you are connected to him. You want to know his past, you want him to success and thrive. If you aren’t near tear towards the end, you need to take a look in the mirror and reevaluate some thing.
Now this book is suppose to be the second in the Slavery and Beyond series, but reading the first book is not necessary, this is more of a stand alone. In my opinion, much better then the first one. This was just a feel good book from beginning to end, with some lol moments in-between. Definitely something to put in my repeat read pile.
Received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A touching and heartfelt story of letting go
—Bianca JohnsonClick To Read The Full Review!
The reader is immediately introduced to the central characters, Venture Simmons who is a socially awkward and physical small but very agile boy who witnessed the rape and murder of his mother, and the man, Moses Brown, who would become Venture’s confidant and best friend. Venture promises his Mama’s memory to all with the shouts, “You killed Mama, and you’re all gonna pay!”
The story of Venture is touching with the love and friendship of the people who would become his family who take him in as their own family (Esther, Thomas, Mabel and Horace Washington), his friend Moses, the young girl Grace who would eventually become his wife, and John Singleton and most importantly Venture’s love and devotion to his Mama’s memory. This love and friendship all in the midst of the tumultuous time in history.
A Wave from Mama is a history lesson of events that I wasn’t aware of; that is the Draft Riots, the clash between the Irish and Blacks and the history and significant importance of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. I was immediately drawn in to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thank the author, A. Robert Allen, for teaching me about these aspects of post civil war history and slavery that I knew little about in a most captivating novel.
Historic fiction is my favorite genre of fiction and this novel did not disappoint.
A Wave From Mama
—Jennifer WoodwardClick To Read The Full Review!
Excellent History Lesson
—Brian BorgfordClick To Read The Full Review!
Book Worth the Read
—Dayna HauschildClick To Read The Full Review!
The Brooklyn Bridge and a terrific central Character! What’s not to like — couldn’t put it down.
—Michael HarwoodClick To Read The Full Review!
The author interweaves the life of protagonist, Vent, through a series of minor plots which are peppered with surprising outcomes. I cried and I laughed out loud but through it all I kept rooting for Vent! Vent was brought to life through the multi facets of his personality which caused me to adore this character! Mr. Allen also did a superb job as he explains the detailed construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. I was surprised to learn about Caisson’s Disease and how this mysterious disease resulted in multiple deaths during the years of the bridge’s construction. A Wave From Mama was the 2nd book I’ve read by this author and I look forward to reading his next novel in this series.
As a side note, I learned the word baseball was originally spelled as two words, “base ball,” during the 1800’s.
I received a free advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review and I can honestly say, “Read this book, you will enjoy it!”
History comes to life!
—Kim NewmanClick To Read The Full Review!
Then there is also the rival Irish gangs in NYC, The whiskey kings, protecting their illegal distilleries, where they make a spirit called sweet Poteen, and the crooked cops who oversee the whole area.
The story mainly follows a young black man (Venture) of small stature, who loved to run jump and climb with amazing agility. But who has some type of mental challenge, such as Asperger Syndrome. He is befriended after losing his mother, by a family in weeksville and by two brothers, Moses and Ezra, who do all they can to help him.
We learn a lot about New York and that part of Brooklyn during this time period. The racial tension between the Irish, Blacks and Germans, and of the relationship between the police and the Irish.
The later part of the book describes the building of the Brooklyn bridge and how Venture (Vent, for short) Has always wanted to work on the top of the bridge, as he is not afraid of heights and loves feeling on top of the world.
There are so many interactions between people, all fascinating but too many to really include in the review, but you will get caught up in all of these characters, and want to know what happens.
I read the first book by this Author and loved it as well. This second novel, follows the first chronologically but not as far as the characters go.
I want to thank the author for letting me read this very interesting story. I look forward to the next.
Full of history…
—Allison DuflonClick To Read The Full Review!
The fictional characters of Ezra and Moses Brown, Junius Morel, Ester Washington and several others are well developed and believable. The main character, Venture, is a (possibly autistic) boy with a tortured past that left him mentally unsound until he is taken into a Weeksville home and given unconditional love and acceptance. Even the “bad guys” are memorable and realistic.
I like the author’s writing style and his descriptions of baseball, horse carts and general life in the 1860s, although some of the character’s conversations seemed a little stilted (freed slaves wouldn’t sound as educated). Overall I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to the next book in his Slavery and Beyond series.
I received a complimentary copy of A Wave From Mama in exchange for writing a review. I wasn’t asked to leave a positive review, nor was I compensated in any way for giving my honest opinion of the product. Look at the thousands of reviews I’ve written over thirteen years and you’ll see that I work hard to give an honest opinion of the products I review.
Characters you won’t forget!
—Lisa KearnsClick To Read The Full Review!
The story is built around a young male child, small for his age, who is in complexion more white than black, along with his mother, are runaways from the inhumane southern system that produced him. On the journey north, the boy whose name is Venture Simmons is witness to the rape-murder of his mother by two mystery men in a rooming house. Venture is so traumatized by his mother’s death that in his escape to Weeksville, New York (a colored community) he not only becomes a psychopathic killer of raccoons (mainly for food) but himself a danger to people as well.
As a modern day reader, I interpret the author’s character description of Venture as a savant who is brilliant in mathematics, but repeats a mindless mantra with a blank stare, bent on a dangerous mission of revenge for the death of his mother.
Events in this book take place in New York in a mythical town named Weeksville, (which today would be considered a borough) outside of Brooklyn, New York. Venture or Vent as he comes to be known, is taken in by a kindhearted family and is nurtured by Ms. Esther, matriarch of the family, who teaches him to discern the difference between right and wrong. Thus, as Vent grows out of vengeful adolescent, amid many misadventures, one which brings him close to dying, the flawed child becomes a proven man. The reader is given a categorical insight into the difficulty of freed slaves and black families living in the North after their emancipation. Such as the conflicts with Irish immigrants, despot police, and many road blocks to forging a community and bringing up families in a fledging nation after the Civil War.
Book clubs may want to consider “A Wave From Mama” for their next read.
Historical Fiction full of twists and turns
Others loved the thought-provoking themes…Click To Read The Full Review!
I was immediately engrossed in the characters and the story. The characters were so well developed, they jumped right out of my Kindle as if they were real – I felt I knew them personally, and I loved how their lives interwove with one another. I have never rooted for a character as much as I did for Vent! I was so happy he got his “Wave from Mama” that I cried!
I agree with some other reviewers of this book – that it should most definitely be made into a film. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it is truly one of the best books I have ever read! I have now downloaded the first book in this volume: Failed Moments while I eagerly await new volumes in the Slavery and Beyond Series.
Truly one of the best books I have ever read!
—Nicola PickenClick To Read The Full Review!
A. Robert Allen expounds on the common struggle to either pursue revenge, take a step back to weigh its consequences, or to seek to forgive in order to mover forward. He highlights “family” and what it means to be family to different people, and how they respond in their circumstances. Although there is some vulgarity, it seems fitting for the scenes, and gives a reality check of what unfolds with each of the characters involved.
Allen spotlights the details and factual technology of the building the Brooklyn Bridge – a spectacular structure in the 1800’s – through a school teacher’s example of what it takes to build a an expansion bridge. I thought it to be very informative.
The title, “A Wave From Mama,” finds its meaning at the end of the story, and brings the main character, Venture, full circle from childhood to young adult – his struggles, defeats, perseverance, and his humble victory.
It is a fast-paced story using actual places and real names in accurate detail. Allen gives fictional common folks a real world dimension as they deal with racial tension, corruption in high places, and what people will do to survive. Allen is a true craftsman with a unique writing style. His character development flows like a river – a trickle at first and then fast-flowing as it picks up more of what its made of along the way.
I would recommend “A Wave From Mama,” not only because historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but because of the rich historical detail one takes away from a book so well written as this one.
Family Loyalty Can Be a Motivating Force
—Rita KroonClick To Read The Full Review!
Survival against all odds
—Gail EichingerClick To Read The Full Review!
A Wave From Mama: a story of hope and despair
—Faith Elizabeth CummingsClick To Read The Full Review!
This is a story that will touch your hearts and feel sadness for the brutality that early African Americans endured even though they were a free people.
But at what cost freedom it was so worth the lowly life enforced upon them as slavery.
I think author A. Robert Allen is forging ahead on an amazing journey, May we all go with him on this incredible journey. Well done A. Robert Allen.
A SPECIAL MAMA
—Raine CarterClick To Read The Full Review!
I will be anxiously awaiting the next book from this extremely talented author!
Another great read from A. Robert Allen
—Heidi HarschClick To Read The Full Review!
With social rules guiding each and every facet of the lives we learn of, one can’t help but ponder the very rules that guide each of us. This read is both introspective and fascinating, as we learn more about ourselves and the societies we live in through each character.
The vision of clouds passing over the moon has now taken on a completely new meaning…find out for yourself !
A Wave from Mama
—Gail SimeoneClick To Read The Full Review!
—Rhonda HolleClick To Read The Full Review!
There are so many wonderful things about this book form the history references to the strong developed characters, this novel is the book that keeps on giving. There are moments that will make you laugh. Moments that will make you cry . There are feel good moments and angry moments. All the while carrying you back into a time that requires thought and makes you want to be every character in the book…both good and bad.
I thoroughly enjoyed this second novel by A. Robert Allen in his Slavery and Beyond Series. Here’s to hopes there will be a volume III.
Sit back and relax with a good book
—Cyndi Williams-CurneClick To Read The Full Review!
This book is beautifully written and I became completely enmeshed in the characters, plot and setting. There are a number of main characters and each one is unique and complex; I became indescribably attached from the beginning and found myself caring deeply about their stories. The characters were fully developed and seemed so real which I feel was down to the authors clever ability to encompass the frailties, strengths, weaknesses and evolution of each personality to the point where I felt I was genuinely watching them learn and grow
I felt the highs, I deeply felt the lows and I basked in the euphoria of the ending. A truly beautiful book which I can’t recommend highly enough.