Negative reviews for Just Breathing the Air


I managed to get my good bf Jennie Chancey to write nice things about my book Just Breathing the Air at Lulu.com and LadiesAgainstFeminism, the LAF site we co-author. I even got Mr Jean M Byers to say a few words. 

But then of-course the nay-sayers had to come. Actually not many, but one. 
People should not write negative reviews. There should be a law forbidding it.
Well, this anonymous (too cowardly to write their own name) person’s review was:
 This book is a series of small vignettes taken from the author’s childhood on a homestead in Alaska. Touching and heartwarming stories about the simple life, but the point that connects the stories seems to be the layout of the homestead and its surroundings, rather than the chronology of the family’s stay there. There seems to be a story or two about each geographical feature, but the reader is left wondering about the details… Why the author’s parents chose to do this (other than a sense of adventure), how long they lived there, things like medical care–were the younger children born at home?–and most importantly, why they left and where they went. The building of the family home is discussed at some length, but the author skips from every day home life to an account of what the homestead looks like today (overgrown).  


Beautiful full color pictures! But more in-depth captioning, especially of people, would have been nice.
Many people might term my actions childish, petty and a little spiteful, but at least they can’t say I don’t know how to give it back as good as it comes.
The minute she wrote that, I posted a reply – not just one reply, but three replies.

I mean who does she think she is? Writing such reviews! Tsk!
Anyway I told her:
  1.  If you read the book, it tells how long they were there. Just look at the date from the beginning and then the date at the end.
  2. This story was done in a very logical order: Joe and Lillian meet and find opportunity in the last frontier, a place where many people were excited about at that period in history. 
  3. They describe their first year and how cold it was and how the cabin and later the house was built, and how they kept the children warm. 
  4. Daily life over the next 10 years is described, along with the lessons the children learned about values. 
  5. It is capped off by going back to the site of the house, showing how it returned to nature when the family left. 
  6. You can read more about how people understood this book, in a review called “Living Free: The Story of Just Breathing the Air,” by Jennie Chancey at her site called Ladies Against Feminism (A Hint: This is how you really review a book)
  7. The reviewer above will also notice that it says “Volume 1 of the adventures of an Alaskan Homestead Family.” If you seem to be curious about certain things, it was because it was written with that purpose in mind: that the next volumes would fill in some of the details and leave you wanting to know more. The book was limited because of cost, to a certain number of pages. We had to continue the story in Volume 2, which will be out soon.
I of course tried to get Lulu.com to take down the negative reviews, but they refused. Grumble! Grumble!
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