Cover Image: Sunday Afternoons and Other Times Remembered

Sunday Afternoons and Other Times Remembered

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Member Reviews

Thanks to SparkPress for the advanced copy. 

The memoir begins with Ben at the cemetery as his family buries their loved ones. The murder of Bens brother, sister in law and niece have taken a toll on the family, with no suspect in custody. The author doesn't go into great detail. He is brief in his story around the murders, arrest of the murderer and trial. I imagine that it is very painful and would open up to many wounds.

At first, I wasn't sure I would be able to follow the book. It's not in chronological order. Kinds of like a movie that bounces back in time, moves forward and back again. I think if there had been a prologue about the murder and the rest of the book was written in chronological order, I would have enjoyed more. At times, I was wondering why Ben's mom was not with them, not knowing she had passed till later in the book..

Ben leaves the farm in Ohio and heads across the country to law school. Day 1, the students are told most will quit or fail. From Haight-Ashbury to Fresno, we follow Bens colorful journey. His struggles, thoughts, relationships, loss.....

I did enjoy the journey from Ben's childhood to present time. I relived some of my younger days at my great grandmothers through the book. Kids today will never know what the cold, clear water from a well taste like. Or the pain of using a slop bucket at night and on cold days. Without ever knowing Ben's parents, I adored them. My heart broke when he wrote of their passing.
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This is a great book...it reads like a conversation...real to life...a memoir...it is fantastic...this author is talented at getting the reader into the story...although the murder of his family takes a big part of the book...at first, he eventually gets into his memories...I enjoyed those the most...a big family...living on a farm...growing up...college...moving...parents...siblings...friends...life and love...themes running throughout this book...interesting...quick read...this book was sent to me by Netgalley for review..
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While this book starts off with the story of a triple murder in Fresno, California in 1992, it is not a true crime book. The victims of the crime were author Ben Ewell’s brother, his sister-in-law and his niece, all shot down in their home on Easter Sunday. It was a hit arranged and financed by the author’s nephew, who wanted to inherit all his family’s money. The author’s account of the incident is covered in the first 17% of the Kindle edition, no more. It’s not “threaded throughout" the story, as the book’s current description describes. Moreover, don’t expect to find any clues in the rest of the book about how the next generation included a son who thought money was more important than the lives of his parents and sister. (For more information on the triple murder, do an online search for Dana Ewell, or watch Oxygen True Crimes series “In Ice Cold Blood”, Season 2, Episode 15–-entitled “Deadly Greed”.)

The rest of the book is strictly a memoir of Ben Ewell’s life covering his childhood on a farm in Ohio, plus his adult life until the present time. I found it enjoyable to read about his childhood, as well as some of his college years in San Francisco. After he graduated from law school, though, the reading started becoming dull, as unfortunately contemporary memoirs often do when the childhood and college years are over. By the time he started talking about his political years, my interest was waning even more, and I totally lost interest during his land development years. Hence, this memoir is definitely a mixed bag, and an odd one to boot since it started off with the murder story. I would recommend it, however, to those who want to read some engaging description of farm life in the ‘40s and ‘50s, as well as those interested in what life was like in Haight-Ashbury during the early 1960s.
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This started off quite interesting- detailing a heinous crime, a mother, father and their 21-year-old daughter shot dead in their home on Easter weekend. The author, brother of one of the victims details the devastating day he found out. It ends up going into a quite detailed account of their upbringing and family life growing up. This may have been better if it had of been written by an impartial crime writer as it is an interesting case. However, from this perspective, I felt I got more family background than a deep look into the crime, the investigation, and an insight into the psychology of someone who would commit such a crime. Thanks to Netgalley for the arc.
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