Cover Image: Liberty Farm

Liberty Farm

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Member Reviews

I would definitely recommend this book for the history educational value. I have never been to Brazil, but a friend has several times and the photos are enticing. However, the book  storyline is interesting, but the characters are confusing to follow and I put this book down so many times that I started over from the beginning four times! 
I have children and for a parent to blatantly come out and admit that he has a favorite child was abhorrent to me in the beginning. I guess I was off put from the start. The book definitely was about a dysfunctional family and the dynamics within because all the way to the end of the book there was still such a breach in this family. 

I’m sorry I didn’t care for the characters and I was just lost in the very beginning of the book. The author had jumped from one family dynamic to the next and it became confusing for me and I couldn’t keep up with all the characters.

I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.
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Intertwined throughout Brazil's history is this multi-generational story of strong familial obligation despite heartbreak over parental preferences. Amorim is a storytelling force, with his characters responding to historical events. I highly recommend this book for its nitty gritty perspective of Brazil and the dynamics of a family beset by tragedy. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy from the author through NetGalley.
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I really enjoyed this book a tale.of family struggles, hate, revenge and ultimate loyalty based upon Liberty Farm the home of generations. A trip through history that is insightful and informative blending that of Brazil and the family. Great book can't wait to see what the author does next.
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A great family saga, 3 generation living in North Eastern Brazil close to the jungle.  A hard terrain to make a living.  The story begins in 1898 and spans almost 100 years.   The author has an incredible talent for developing very interesting characters but also entwining the history of Brazil both economically and politically into the story.
It discusses the growth of the Industrial Revolution, and the dominant, often repressive government leaders throughout the generations.

It took me some time to get involved in the story but the more you read the more you get to love and hate individual characters.
I recommend this novel.
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Having been to this part of Brazil, I found the book filled with information that helped me create a more complete view of northeast Brazil and how the history of Brazil is reflected in its population. And if nothing else the colorful characters in the book make it an interesting book. While the introduction to the characters and the place names for places in Bahia may be off-putting to readers because of the fear too much will be required for them to remember, its helpful as an introduction, but don’t worry about memorizing any of the details.
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Thank you to netgalley.com for this ARC.

I loved this book. I could have kept reading about this family for a million more chapters. This is a generational story of a family in Brazil from the beginning of the 20th century moving forward. It shows the trials and tribulations of a family and interspersed is the history of Brazil and it's political climate as they have changed through the decades.

The family is like any family with its feuds, loves, and losses but brought to life in such a well written way.
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While I am grateful to the author and publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this title, a busy schedule got in the way, and I was unable to read it before it was archived on Netgalley. I will be looking for a physical copy of this title at my local bookstore!
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Liberty Farm is a look at The Almeida family from 1889 through 1989 in Brazil, through the political hardships and unrest through those 100 years. Ezra Almeida first wife died in childbirth and he marries her younger sister Helena, bought a piece of Liberty farm from from his father in law Julian at an inflated price many times more than the property is worth but Ezra knows but doesn’t care, him and Juliano despise each other, Ezra thinks Juliano a loser and Juliano is jealous of Ezras ability to turn everything he touches into gold, Each year Ezra buys cattle for each of his children to add to his and their wealth but an unscrupulous brother who secretly hates his siblings has other ideas up his sleeve as he cheats his family out of property and livestock and lumber. After Ezra dies, Jonas the oldest sibling takes over as head of the family believing family sticks together no matter what and is blind to what is going on around him, he is still trying to please the father who never showed love to his children, when his favorite child dies of a childhood illness Ezra closes himself off completely and as a result his children spend their lives even free his death trying to please him.
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First off, the writing style is tell not show and that nearly made me put it down constantly. The family epic is interrupted by updates from the general situation in Brazil which was a choice to show that despite the international upheavals, family and daily life in rural areas goes on but also, like, ok? This family btw suffers from generational trauma and are actively deforesting the Amazon. I found little to like about them actually (Helena was my favorite) but nevertheless I read this whole thing because there was something so gripping about the family dramas and how the weak characters fed off and enabled each other.
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Liberty Farm is an awesome tale, following the Almeida family from 1889 - 1989 as they ranched and farmed and grew under the various forms of government experienced in Brazil during that time frame.  This is a book that took much longer to absorb than I had supposed, but to do this work justice, time is required and becomes a gift to you.  

Political and social mores change drastically over this century of time, sometimes rapidly, sometimes while your back is turned, and every nuance affects the Almeida family members of every age.  You see it coming, just as they do but there is nothing to be done to change the changes, just weather through and hope for tomorrow.  

Some of these male characters are pretty wicked, seemingly without conscious or empathy.  Some are painfully nieve.  Most are just trying to get by, and improve on the farm so that it can support the growing generations of Almeida's.  The women, over the generations, become savvier with each generation about freeing themselves of the religious and social expectation of producing a child every year but the basic premise of their lives, that they are there to wait on, obey, and bow down to their man, doesn't change much.  Boy children are a gift to their father, daughters are considered a 'wasted belly'.  

And then we get to the governing body of Brazil.  They go through many drastic changes over this time frame, from semi-democratic, communistic, dictatorships, and nearly republican, with a little more of their lives and life works shaved away by each governing party. 

I found this both frightening and a lesson we should learn and act on.   Because the whittling in Washington DC has been going on for a long time unimpeded, and the country we have now doesn't even resemble the nation our forefathers planned for us.  It doesn't even resemble my life span, raised on a poor farm in the New Mexican desert during the 1950s and '60s.  We need to pay attention too...

I received a free electronic copy of this ARC from Netgalley and Izai Amorim.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.  I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.
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A sweeping family tale spanning decades and generations - this is an interesting read. Placing the family's story within Brazil's historical context is a valuable addition. Sometimes I felt the story compromised depth for breadth -with so many characters it was difficult to get to know them and sympathize with them.
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There are books, movies, and other works about a single person that become stale by the end. In Liberty Farm, Izai Amorim manages to captivate readers through the telling of three generations of a massive family as they face tumult from sources both inside and outside of the home. The juxtaposition of the family against the political climate within Brazil is skillfully done, keeping readers interested and excited to learn more about each character. Liberty Farm touches on so many topics; traditional gender roles, marriage, jealousy, family status...the list goes on, but each prominent character (over 25, by my guess!) is written to have realistic strengths and flaws. Every event seems to be relevant to the story as a whole, and entices you to learn more about this family's experience.  

I chose this book because I didn't know much about Brazil and was curious about the history and culture. Amorim wove a lot of detail about these topics into a fascinating family drama that I thoroughly enjoyed. The long list of character descriptions at the beginning was a little daunting, but I found the characters easy to identify as I read. I wholeheartedly give this book 5/5 stars.

Note: Note I received a free ebook copy of Liberty Farm from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is an interesting book that gives you a little insight of the lives of three generations of a family in Brazil. 

A good way to begin to understand the differental cultural aspects of a South American country. 

It took me a while to get fully involved in the story but once I did, it was very enjoyable.
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(I want to thank NetGalley and the author for this ARC, which I received in exchange for an honest review.)

This book simultaneously tells the story of Brazil and the story of the Almeida family from 1889 to 1989. The book follows the patriarch Ezra De Souza Almeida, a little boy who was born during a terrible drought in an impoverished area in Brazil, and who grew up to be a strong and determined man who had a great talent for business but was emotionally unavailable for her wife and children. The book first focuses on Ezra and his attachment to the land, hard work, and the idea of family, but then it also explores his wife's and children's lives and how they are affected by this man that is the center of their home. It shows in a deep and moving way the consequences of Ezra's children's life choices as they try to get his father's attention and love. This story about three generations and their conflicts makes the reader wonder, beyond obligations and the discourses around the importance of family, what does family really mean?

What I liked: I enjoyed this book tremendously. It is written in a very simple style with little descriptions of settings, characters, or voice tones and body language during dialogues, but I actually found it pleasant because it allowed the story to contain a lot of situations, characters, and information without being slow or hard to read. It also gives the reader enough freedom to imagine the characters and settings, so it felt more personal to me. It was great that I could learn a lot about Brazil as well. The author tried to explain major national events in a couple of paragraphs, so it was easy to understand the context of the story and how it affected the family. However, the best part of the book is how Amorim explores the complexity of family relationships. Through the conflicts in Ezra's marriage, the expectations followed by bitterness and disappointment that he felt after the birth of their children, his intentions to control their lives as they grew up, the power struggles that rose as Ezra's children became teenagers and adults, and the consequences of their childhood in their new families, the author tells a wonderful story about sorrow, loyalty, compromises, power, and a strong yet unfulfilled desire for paternal love. This confronts Ezra's motto that family must stay together with the reality of resentment, abandonment, betrayal, and regret that the Almeida family actually have as the (unwanted) foundation of their relationships. Another outstanding element of this book is that the author took into account the importance of reputation for a traditional Latinamerican family, which is a burden that limits their possibilities to build healthier relationships. But, this is not a terrible story about a horrible family, there is love, tenderness, and support in the Almeida family as well. In that way, the author also shows that the real bonds between (some) family members are spiritual and not a set of obligations. I really liked this book and I totally recommend it. 

What I did not like: At the beginning of the book there are some explanations about the political changes in Brazil during a century, the geography of the region where the story is placed, the (unusual and interesting) system that Brazilians have for family names, and the family tree. When I read all this information I was overwhelmed because I thought that the book was going to be tiresome and confusing. Luckily, it was not the case at all, but that first part scared me a little. Also, as there are so many characters, some may seem one-dimensional or archetypical at certain points. Even when some family members can be explored in other chapters (as it happens with Sofia or Carolina), others remain as a couple of adjectives (like most of the in-laws, except for Irene).
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If  readers are  interested in learning about the intricacies a new culture, the long list of characters at the beginning of this novel will not intimidate them. Izai Amorim's novel, a family saga of over one hundred years and three generations is set in the back lands of Brazil, and is both a great reading experience and a great learning experience. 
Anchoring the novel is the touch of magical realism, "a love black hole," and the minimalist writing style echos that of Cather and Hemingway. 
This intricate family tale is inextricably tied to current events occurring in Brazil and around the world, while the belief running throughout this novel is plain: "family is everything."
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Liberty Farm, while complex and involved, held me captive longer than I expected it to. Poignant and full of heart felt characters, it left me heart broken and wanting more. Izai Amorim knows how to write a strong female character that demands more of its readers! A fantastic read!
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Liberty Farm: A Family Portrait by Izai Amorim
Rate• ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
❀This book took me abnormally long to finish because it has this bittersweet feelings about each characters and i liked it.

❀The story is set in Brazil, about a poor family where one successful son comes across this land that is later built into the Liberty Farm. Multiple generations follow in the story on the farm and the family is clearly male-dominated with normalcy in  infedility. I didn't quite like how women, especially Helena was treated. In the end, it was all about  saving family's reputation, building the family name and women really didn't had much say in many things.
The main story was also intertwined with how dictatorship ends in the history of Brazil in 1989.
❀My favourite character was Ezra Neto. I feel like he was the only one who really understands the meaning of living. Even though he despises and strongly projects feelings about the betrayal, injustices and cover-ups that run in the family, he still worries and thinks of the country and its politics and celebrates other's happiness. 
This story has so much depth and things that will make you angst. I really hated some of the characters too, like the father Ezra.
The writing was great. Loved the story.
Thank you @netgalley and the author for the copy. 
My head is still immersed in the story and thinking about those powerful characters.
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Thank you to NetGalley and author Izai Amorim for providing me with an ARC. In exchange I offer my unbiased review.

Spanning three generations and 100 years, Liberty Farm covers a lot of ground. Parts of this book really reminded me of three books I hold in high regard The Bible, East of Eden & The Good Earth. This story has feuding brothers, jealous siblings, fights over the affection of a distant father & resentments of birthrights & inheritance. There is a loving mother but she favors one son above another and Ezra the patriarch demands respect and loyalty but he too plays favorites amongst his children. There’s arguments over education vs farming, and what constitutes success. Watching certain cycles repeated broke my heart. It did take until the second half of this booK for me to become emotionally invested. I think the first half needed some editing and less minutia of details and dialogue. 
Because I read an electronic copy it was difficult to “scroll back” and reference the pages of characters. I think a proper family tree would have been a better visual reference and would be a helpful addition to the print copy. 
It was obvious that the author has a personal connection to this story and his love and pride for his family is felt in the pages.
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I loved this book, especially the way the political, economic, and social issues were interlaced with the story. Liberty Farm is a man’s world, but the interesting and strong characters are all women. The author brilliantly shows how the female characters struggle for their right to self-determination in a male-dominated society, a struggle that took place – and unfortunately still takes place – in similar ways not only in Brazil but everywhere. So the book transcends geography and time: this could be any patriarchal family, anywhere. In my opinion the story ends too soon. I wanted to know more about the younger generation and I wished the author hadn’t stopped the story in 1989. I hope there will be a sequel.
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I really enjoyed this family saga set in Brazil following three generations over one century against the backdrop of Brazil’s turbulent history. The family dynamics, the changes in social mores, aspects of agriculture, economics and education – the book covers so many aspects of Brazilian life with short separate chapters keeping readers updated on political events. I was initially dismayed when I saw pages of dates and lists of characters at the beginning, as I’m always wary of books that seem to need these, but in the event I needn’t have worried as the complex family relationships and the many members are easy to keep track of as the narrative style is plain, succinct and simple (but not simplistic) and the politics is explained again in a very clear way so that it doesn’t intrude on the story. Just as politics only rarely impinge on the family as they struggle with education, work and often fractious family relationships. Those lists should be moved to the end of the book just as reference if needed. It’s a really compelling novel about some truly memorable characters, and as a bonus I learnt a lot about Brazil as I followed their stories.
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