The Purchase by Linda SpaldingThe Purchase by Linda Spalding

The Purchase

byLinda Spalding

Paperback | August 6, 2013

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In 1798, a young Quaker father and widower leaves his home in Pennsylvania with his 15-year-old orphan wife and his five children to a establish a new life. When he soon finds himself the owner of a young slave boy, a chain of events is set in motion that will lead to two murders and the family's strange relationship with a runaway slave named Bett.
     Lyrical and as hard-edged as the realities of pioneer life, Spalding's writing is nothing short of stunning. Her characters and their stories are unforgettable. Atmospheric and gripping, powerful and morally complex, the novel is timeless.
Born and raised in Kansas, LINDA SPALDING immigrated to Canada in 1982 from Hawaii. She is the author of three much earlier novels and two acclaimed works of non-fiction, The Follow, which was shortlisted for The Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize; and, most recently, Who Named the Knife. She received ...
Title:The PurchaseFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.2 × 5.7 × 1 inPublished:August 6, 2013Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771079362

ISBN - 13:9780771079368

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Dive Right In Kind of Novel This story becomes extra captivating knowing that there is an element of author history in the story. The story line is so interesting regarding how an abolitionist and a Quaker becomes shunned by his own community. He moves to Virginia with his children and a young orphan girl who had become his wife. He inadvertently ends up purchasing a slave and the novel unfold on how that relationship spans the years and influences the choices that his children make. It is a novel about survival, faith and moral choices. A very interesting read!
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating story based on the author's ancestors After hearing author Linda Spalding speak about her new book, The Reckoning, I knew that I had to read it predecessor, The Purchase. Ms. Spalding spoke with such passion and almost reverence for the trials that her ancestors struggled through, that I had to learn more about them. At the end of the 18th century, Daniel Dickenson was forced out of his Quaker meeting house and his comfortable life. Along with his children and new, young wife, they trekked south from Pennsylvania to Virginia to carve out a homestead and new life. Along the way, and throughout the next two decades, Daniel and his family faced many challenges to their faith and morality. Each family member had to find their own way to deal with these tests of faith. I was captivated by this fictionalized tale. From my comfortable life, I find it hard to imagine how difficult it was for Daniel to provide for his family. In the current time when people seem to agonize over which flavour of expensive latte to order, it is helpful to be reminded of such hardships that others face even today. I enjoyed the story telling approach. I could imagine the author witting with her family relating the adventures of her ancestors. Not a perfect retelling, but a remember oral account with some gaps and possibly careful omissions. I was brave of Ms. Spalding to open up and reveal the skeletons in her family closet. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy American history as well as family sagas. #IndigoEmployee
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read A really well thought out novel. I couldn't put this one down - even in the car, and I get motion sickness when I read in the car. The concept was unique, yet familiar and the characters drew me in.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from beautiful This books is different. It's a gripping tale. Masterfully told. An epic family saga whose characters will live on in your heart long after the book is over. I cannot say enough how swept away I was by the story here and how many of my friends - who did not expect to relate to this book - found it captivating and un-put-down-able.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Beautifully-written and rich in historical detail. I love that the characters were so grey -- you could be rooting for them one minute and disgusted by their views the next.
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing You need to read this book- highly recommended
Date published: 2017-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it A fantastic story that makes us question many of our values. what might we do in the same situation?
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read, highly recommend! Great read, highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Elegant Prose Beautiful and Elegant Prose.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting read This was an interesting read. It made me honk about things. Ending was a little flat.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Surprise. I wasn't sure if I would like this book but my sister-in-law recommended it and I really couldn't put it down. It was wonderful to be transported to another place and time I looked forward each night to picking it up.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommended This book is beautifully written; I reread some passages over and over just to absorb them. Any lover of historical fiction will enjoy it (just keep tissues handy).
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great Story Line, but Very Slow I thought I would really love this book, as the story line about an abolitionist making a purchase to ultimately do the right thing and free a slave sounded very interesting. However, I had a really hard time reading the book and found I was bored often - each scene took a very long time (unnecessarily), but I hung on until the end thinking there would be something more interesting or dramatic but there wasn't. I think the story line could have been written in a much more exciting way. Sadly I would not recommend this book.
Date published: 2016-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read One of the best books I've read. Once I sarted reading,it was difficult to put it down. Absolutely one book I will read again
Date published: 2015-09-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read! I couldn't put this book down!
Date published: 2015-04-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Purchase Interesting read. Poor ending.
Date published: 2014-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Purchase Love the history. Hate the slavery. Enjoyed the book.
Date published: 2014-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read! Loved this book, and will probably reread again at some point. A bit slow in parts, but, having said that, I couldn't put it down for the most part. Would love to know more about how it relates to the author's family.
Date published: 2014-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The purchase I enjoyed this read. Interesting how the Quakers dealt with slavery.
Date published: 2014-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The purchase A spellbinding story of pioneer times and the tribulations of blacks and whites in Virginia leading up to the U.S. Civil War
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Purchase Although this story did not delve into one particular character in depth, the book kept me wanting to come back to it to see what would happen next. I liked it very much.
Date published: 2013-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enthralling With this story, Linda Spalding creates the world of the Dickinson family. She skilfully crafts complete and complicated characters and yet manages to develop the reader’s sympathy for multiple family members across several generations. An epic family saga.
Date published: 2013-08-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hohum When Daniel Dickinson is thrust out of his Quaker community, he finds himself completely at sea with the world around him. And the decisions that he makes soon become seed of sorrow he sows for himself and his family. An avid abolitionist, he brings his family to the slave holding state of Virginia and because of pity buys a young slave boy he promises to free. He never gets the chance and as one bad decision is compounded by bad luck, Daniel finds he cannot escape the encounter that will change his life and his children’s future. This story would have been more believable in several parts and some of the plot seemed to move so slowly that I found myself thinking it could have made a passable short story instead a insomniac cure.
Date published: 2013-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everything flows from one bad decision THE PURCHASE opens with Daniel, a shunned Quaker, travelling with his orphaned children and his new wife from Pennsylvania to Virginia. In a decision that goes against his own beliefs, he buys a young slave, even trading away his beloved horse, Miss Patch, in the bargain. All of the novel’s action flows from this single bad decision. The writing is graceful and lyrical. Even the scenes that are horrifying are beautifully rendered. But The Purchase is not only about the horrors and the dehumanizing effects of slavery and of slave-owning, the novel also ventures into that territory with which every one of us is familiar: the amazing human capacity to rationalize and justify our most self-serving decisions and behaviours, even those that stand in stark opposition to our most deeply held principles. Sometimes, we even invoke God’s will in our justifications. This is a novel filled with flawed, i.e., deeply human, characters, and the author’s use of omniscient point of view is skillful in illuminating those characters. We understand their decisions even as we grieve for them. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2013-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Linda Spalding's new novel The Purchase is a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction. Trust me, it's an absolute must read. 1798. Daniel Dickinson is a devout Quaker. But when his wife dies leaving him with five young children and he quickly marries Ruth, a fifteen year old orphan, he is cast out of the fellowship. With no home and no community, he then packs his family in a wagon and heads to Virginia to homestead. At an auction to buy needed farming tools, Daniel instead ends up with a young slave boy. As an abolitionist, this goes against everything he believes in. This purchase is the catalyst for a series of events that will change the lives of family, friends, enemies and more. I literally hurtled through the first part of The Purchase. Spalding drew me into the lives of the Dickinson family. The characters are exceptionally well drawn. Daniel struggles with his ownership of Onesimus, his marriage to a girl he doesn't even know, his efforts to build a new life for his children in a wilderness that he is ill prepared for and trying to follow his beliefs. His oldest daughter Mary is stubborn, petulant, wilful but also kind and giving. But not to her stepmother. But it is quiet, silent Ruth that I was most drawn to. And to the slave Bett as well. There is a large cast of characters, each bringing a turn in the tale. And all elicit strong emotions and reactions. The interactions between the players sets up an almost tangible sense of foreboding. I stopped after part one, which ends on a cataclysmic note, to gather my thoughts. Where could the story go from here? I started part two a few days later and didn't put the book down until I turned the last page. And then I sat and thought again. Spalding's prose are rich, raw, powerful and oh, so evocative. She explores so much in The Purchase - freedom, faith, family, love, loss and more. On reading the author's notes, I discovered that The Purchase is based on Spalding's own family history. She visited sites and settings that are used in the book. I think the personal connection added so much to the book. Brilliant. One of my top reads for 2012. Can lit rocks!
Date published: 2012-10-09

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Purchase
 • "The Purchase is an epic novel in every way that matters - in scope, depth, and heart." -- Jury citation, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
 • "Engrossing.... One of the finest historical novels in recent years." -- National Post
 • "Imbued with the power of myth." -- Globe and Mail
 • "A complex and engaging novel . . . Hardy-esque." -- Ottawa Citizen