First and foremost, Hukle's books are remarkably well-researched. You simply cannot read one of her novels without learning something new. Her books have enlightened and reshaped my understanding of the history of New York and the USA. In Souls of the Soil, I especially enjoyed the alternating perspectives between present-day and historical New York. She conveys the realities, dangers, and challenges of early American living through relatable, believable characters and compelling storylines. If you like to learn real, solid history while you read an entertaining novel, then Hukle's books are for you!-
Reader Amazon July 2018
June 2018 Review of American Waldron Series
May 2018 Review
Book Review by S.L. Perreault December 12, 2016
"Souls of the Soil" by Gloria Waldron Hukle
Hukle returns with the fourth novel in her very exciting adventure series centered on life in the Hudson River valley. In this complex saga, she spans the three centuries from colonial America to the present day by tracing the lives of both historical and current day characters within the same Albany NY locations. She has a knack for increasing the veracity of her fictional characters by offering connective real world genealogical and historical references. This is a particularly useful tool in this tale which spans most of American history.
I would strongly recommend that the reader not approach this story (Souls of the Soil) casually but rather with an intensity of purpose. Souls of the Soil is best consumed in at most two companion sittings and not left to a longer span. This strategy is advisable in order to preserve within the reader’s mind the continuity of both the many characters as well as the varying venues during the novel’s frequent back and forth travel through time. This approach is quite doable since the book is less than 300 pages in length.
Gloria Waldron Hukle’s SOULS OF THE SOIL is a captivating novel that connects American history and two families across generations in a criss-crossing web. Along the way, it shares realities of colonial America, hardships, love, religion and spirituality in an intriguing, interconnecting story that was hard to put down. Ms. Waldron succeeded in drawing me into the lives of the characters and the times, culminating in a satisfying ending. Definitely a worthwhile read!
Book Review by Dawn Lajeunesse, Wilton, New York
December 23, 2016
"Souls of the Soil"- "This is a very good book"- Lynn LaCross, Ballston Lake, New York. October 2016
Review of G. Waldron Hukle's American Waldron Series Books by Bob McGrath, New York
Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre and I am thrilled to discover the work of this amazing author. Her meticulous recreation of the life and times in my part of the world almost four centuries ago is relayed with such passion and detail that I truly feel as if I were living in those times. I am grateful to the author for the gift of allowing me to understand the spirit of those who came before us. I am a fan and will certainly devour all of her future works.-Bob McGrath- New York, October 2016.
Reader Review of "Threads An American Tapestry" February 2015
"I just finished Threads An American Tapestry" and I was fascinated by the weaving of Waldron family history into the fabric of the novel. Thank you for creating Margaret; so nice to make a new friend. Good luck with book four.- Caroline Adamski Andrulis
Nancy Johnsen Curran,genealogist,New York
"Threads An American Tapestry" by Gloria Waldron Hukle
Fascinating history, June 28, 2009
Book Review by L. Rae Rao (Texas)
"As the great-granddaughter of a Delaware Indian (Len ape, Turkey Clan), I found THREADS AN AMERICAN TAPESTRY to be a fascinating look at the life of Margaret Vandenberg, the daughter of a Lenape mother and wealthy Dutch father, who lived in the early 1700's in colonial New York. Strengthened by her faith, she successfully faced many challenges managing the large land holdings inherited from her father. I'm impressed by the author's insight into two very different cultures. Obviously extensively researched, very well done! "
" Saturday afternoon I began reading Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple and finished the next evening! I couldn't put it down! It moves swiftly, is humorous (those pigs), is frightening (the Indian attack),is timely (moral issues, women issues & concerns with Tennake Waldron wisely planning how to adjust to governmental changes), has well developed, intriguing characters, and gives wonderful glimpse into not only the lives of Resolve and Tennake's and other Dutch and Native Americans, but also into my own French Huguenot ancestors. My ancestors, Jean Bodin and his wife, were first recorded as baptism witnesses at a Dutch Reformed Church, New York in 1677. Statan Island and died there in 1694.
Thank you for writing such a fascinating story. I can't wait to read the next books you have written! Keep writing! "
Bonnie Shufelt -New York
Barnes and Noble Book Reviewer Stephen Perreault
THREADS AN AMERICAN TAPESTRY by Gloria Waldron Hukle
August 05, 2009: In this continuing family saga of early colonial life along the Hudson river valley, the author captures the essence of the many challenges faced by our forebearers here in the eastern United States. Her tale is one of individual pride and determination as well as adherence to honorable values in the face of stubborn gender and racial prejudices. The protagonist, Margaret Vandenberg, may have evolved from mixed origins, but she puts these roots to good advantage in order to keep her family's farm operating successfully.
The third in a series of novels by Gloria Hukle, "Threads" is perhaps the most exciting in terms of true colonial adventure. As always, her work is historically relevant and well adorned with detailed description. The reader enjoys both a good story and a real learning experience as the author describes the assortment of tools, the rudimentary medicinal aids and the foods favored by early settlers in their struggles to survive and prosper in their new land.
It is also refreshing to find a novel which can be recommended to readers of all ages without fear of exposing them to excessive violence. Like its predecessors, "Manhattan:Seeds of the Big Apple" and "Diary of a Northern Moon," "Threads" has a strong family orientation that is becoming more difficult to find in this modern day age.
I Also Recommend: Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple and The Diary of a Northern
AuthorHouse reviewed by J. Alpha US Review of Books
"As it is with all children who accept the reins of responsibility from a powerful parent, ultimately a time came when there were choices to be made that only a Heavenly Father could understand."
Threads: An American Tapestry is a story that deftly weaves together the struggles and triumphs of the differing visions and conflicts of the independent-minded characters of the New York Hudson Valley colonials, which comprised a mix of European, African, and Native American cultures, with the turmoil in the lives of three siblings--heirs to the estate of Gerrit Vandenberg, a wealthy New York North River Valley landowner.
However, as the central theme of Threads reveals, prosperity does not exclude life's struggles from the affluent, nor is it a shield against the lifelong prejudices and alienation Margaret Vandenberg had experienced as a "high-brow Indian woman"--Garrit Vandenberg's "half-breed" daughter, who in spite of her good intentions and acts of charity and generosity remains a slave to the suspicions, mistrust, and hatred of her mixed heritage and Old World enemies as she struggles to retain sole control over her families upstate New York estate when her long thought dead brother returns with a wife and business partner. Thus the stage has been set for Threads compelling story conflict which builds on the tension between the main characters, their internal constraints, and the outside forces of their environment and opposing external forces.
As the story (circa 1723) begins, Margaret Vandenberg--well into her thirties--prepares to marry for the first time while facing the smoldering emotions of envy and perceived corruption of religious beliefs, in addition to the tragic murder of one of her black servants and the secret involvement of another who is harboring runaway slaves by providing a stopover at her manor on their way to Canada.
Compelled to follow an obstacle strewn path, Margaret knew full well that her decisions would alter the course of her life, but never could have conceived of all the other lives that would also be altered. A woman of strong faith, Margaret vows that she will leave her fate, in God's hand, but yet as a strong, resourceful, and independent woman she also understands that the consequences of her decisions are hers to hold forever.
Threads--Hukle's third installment in The Waldron Series--is a reflective tale told with an infusion of relevant historical facts that enhance both the action and pacing of the plot. Often in historical fiction, authors unintentionally lose their characters inside their story-like passages of exhaustive research, but Hukle has completely avoided this common pitfall, having rendered a strong piece of historical fiction for readers to be drawn into with her solid research, solid character renderings, and solid writing.
"If anyone had told her that she would leave her family and travel to the other end of the earth before she was twenty-five, Tennake would have thought that the poor soul had lost all wit."
Manhattan: Seeds of the Big Apple takes a long overdue look into the rich history of the formative years of one of the most famous pieces of real estate in the world. The story of Manhattan being purchased for $27 worth of beads is famous, but how much is known of what happened next? What is known of the settlers who tried to live there, or the Native Americans who lived alongside them?
We follow the young Dutch woman, Tennake (pronounced Ten-ake) and her new husband Resolved as they travel to the new world to face the unknown. Confronted with both friendly and hostile natives, slaves, and the possibility of single-handedly raising her husband's three children from a previous marriage, Tennake is a girl trying to hold onto her roots while forging her new destiny. Resolved is a man true to his name, determined to protect his family at all costs.
The story holds its own resolution, using clear and distinct language to illuminate the times. All too often, it is easy for historical novels to become bogged down in dry facts, yet Manhattan navigates this murky swamp with distinct skill. The history is delivered with short, precise details, such as the dipping of bread into the communal bowl of chicken stock for the meal, and in the description of the thatched roofs of the buildings in the surrounding villages.
This novel is a great read for those wanting a glimpse into history through skilled storytelling. Unpretentious and inviting, it is a tale of hardship and determination, of hope and survival. It is the reason writers write.
Reviewed by J. Alpha
"The heavenly farm was a focal point of a yet much bigger mystery. She needed to know who was Ben Waldron?"
"The Diary of a Northern Moon, like all such narratives, holds a good dose of truth," writes, author Gloria Waldron Hukle in the forward to her second of three books in the Waldron series, which began with Manhattanâ??Seeds of the Big Apple. A good dose of truth is definitely a plus in historical narratives, and Gloria Waldron Hukleâ??an 11th generation Waldron and native resident of New York Stateâ??opens her historical 20th Century novel with a dedication to Carol Waldron Thomas and her devotion to Waldron genealogy and the Waldron Family Crest. There is also a clearly written preface, establishing the story's rich setting in the "hidden wooded slopes of northern New York's Adirondack Mountain Region."
Tena Waldron is a successful 26-year-old advertising executive at the crossroads of her life, who seeks to unravel truths about her father, Ben Waldron,Â a man she had barely known. Her dreamlike journey leads her through her ancestral past in the Adirondack=2 0town of North Creek. Along the way, with a well-plotted series of story events and a touch of romance, Hukle successfully lures readers into also trying to discover who exactly was Ben Waldronâ??the "very active ghost" who has "resurrected" inside of Tena, as she sets out to uncover the long held secret elements of her Dutch ancestors.
Establishing contemporary relevance in a story built around the lives of people who arrived in America 300 years ago is a narrative challenge that Hukle tackles with a theme of "new beginnings." It is a universal theme that not only defines the lives and aspirations of the people in the century leading up to America's Industrial Revolution, but also resonates with a contemporary sensibility of a new American era today.
Murder, mystery, and romance... what more could readers seeking a good dose of fictional truth want? Well, good writing of course, and Gloria Waldron Hukle delivers that too in The Diary of a Northern Moon.
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The US Review of Books
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Appropriate for All Ages -
MANHATTAN SEEDS OF THE BIG APPLE
The beauty of this book is that its content and style is just as appealing to a 12 year old as it is a grandparent. As an adult I was spellbound by the sheer number of facts and details the author puts forth about early New Amsterdam life and politics, spoken through era-appropriate dialogue and characters who really lived their stories! As an educational administrator not only do I recommend Manhattan: Seeds of the Big Apple for school libraries, but as an excellent addition to any social studies curriculum. A truly unique book which should become a classic resource about the life and times of New York's early Dutch settlers.
By F. Thibaut , New York, N.Y.
Gloria Waldron Hukle's History is Riveting, February 5, 2009
Nagel Waldron, a pregnant young woman in her twenties, sails into
adventures she could never have imagined, when the ship she is aboard
with her half-Dutch, half-English older husband, Resolved Waldron, and
his three children, enters the harbor at New Amsterdam . They have
traveled from Holland, where Tennake left her family, staunch Calvinists
all, to follow her husband to his post as Assistant Sheriff under the
director of the settlement, Peter Stuyvesant. New Amsterdam is a
bustling community surrounded by a wall--the very wall that defined the
path of a street we now call "Wall Street." The Waldrons were to build a
home and a reputation there and persevere against Indian attacks and
growing pains of the government, which included religious intolerance,
disagreements about treatment of the many tribes surrounding the
settlement, the whimsical decrees of Peter Stuyvesant and the looming
threat of an English takeover.
This novel dusted away the cobwebs settled on this reader's long-ago seventh grade social studies lessons, refreshing my memories of Dutch colonization in North America, adding much new information and painting faces and hearts on that history. Knowing that the courageous Tennake and Resolved Waldron--and many of the characters with whom they interact--were real people, and that the Waldron descendants were eventually to make their way to New York's Adirondack Mountains, added an extra dimension to my enjoyment. Hukel's "Manhattan" is educational and entertaining. I can't wait to read the 20th century sequel, The Diary of a Northern Moon
Review submitted by Persis Granger, Author , Editor, Thurman Quarterly
Fascinating and intriguing novel - MANHATTAN SEEDS OF THE BIG APPLE
I just loved this book. Couldn't put it down. Found the characters and the plot fascinating. Recommend it highly to someone who wants to read a good and clean novel.
Susan P Mishler, Palmerton, PA
Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple
Review by Jerry Rabushka
I remember in school the fact that New York was originally the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was glossed over in about 15 seconds. Just a small slice of history, that even with my interest in days of long ago, I?ve never seen discussed anywhere.
Which gives Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple a special place for lovers of obscure times in history. Author Gloria Waldron Hukle, a descendant of the early Dutch immigrants to America, uses her family history as a starting point to tell the story of these early pioneers. Her point of view, which can hardly be argued with, is that these early days of New Yorker, Amsterdam are largely forgotten and it?s time to change that.
Must have been a lot different view of Manhattan, with nary a skyscraper, a small city protected by forts, even grassy hills and trees (in Manhattan!). And as the Waldron family steps off the boat to America, they're greeted by something our country is famous for cultural diversity.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the book is how this family, coming from a very heterogeneous Planet Holland, navigates its way through a society and a land of Indians, Negro slaves, Jews, Catholics, Quakers, and (gasp!) English! Much of the conflict in the family, in fact, revolves around treatment of, and love or compassion for, outsiders.
The more you get to know people outside your bubble, the less your prejudices stand up, yet the more your society tries to box you back into it?s narrow world view. In the 1650s there was a lot more to lose by going against the norm.
Hukle does a nice job of writing the pace of life from 350 years ago. The book starts slowly as the family spends a long time crossing over on the boat. The reader sees and feels discoveries through the eyes of Tennake Waldron and her husband Resolved, rarely will Hukle say This is how it was, but more like Tennake noticed, this that, and the other.
The action picks up in this supposedly peaceful colony with a seemingly unprovoked Indian attack, disagreement over treatment of the savages,and the impending specter of a British takeover. Meanwhile, Resolved's brother Joseph finds Sarah, the family Negro much more to his liking than he's afraid to admit.
The book is also a good reminder how communication differed back then we're told that Tennake, once making the journey over the Atlantic, never ventures more than 12 miles away from her home (at the corner of present day Wall Street and Broadway).
Guests with stories of the outside world were very welcome; news from the homeland would take weeks to arrive to the colony, people who lived in suburbs or outlying villages were isolated from cities even a few miles away, often significantly more at risk of attack.
The writing reflects a more formal style of speech, even between husband and wife, and Hukle (pictured, right) wisely incorporates this into her narrative. Its a style the speaks to an intelligent reader and reports on the prejudices and thoughts of these people without judging. Anyway, by the time I was done, I was sorry it was over.
Book Reviewer: THE DIARY OF A NORTHERN MOON
Dear Gloria, Just want you to know, how much I enjoyed The Diary of a Northern Moon
From the moment it arrived and I glanced through a few pages, I was HOOKED!
It hit home with me in many ways I have two daughters. One married with a Veterinarian business, the other in Advertising, and looking. I put everything aside and finished your novel. I loved it and will recommend it to everyone. I will be waiting for the next one.