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The Pacifist by [Ahmed, Mehreen]
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The Pacifist Kindle Edition

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Length: 229 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

In 1866, Peter Baxter’s misfortune ends the day he leaves Badgerys Creek orphanage. Unsure of what to do next, Peter finds himself on a farm run by Mr. Brown. An aging man, Brown needs help and is happy to give Peter a place to live in exchange for his labor. Unbeknownst to Peter, Brown’s past is riddled with dark secrets tied to the same orphanage, which he has documented in a red folder.

During a chance encounter, Peter meets Rose. Peter cannot help but fall in love with her beauty, grace, and wit; however, he fears that his affection will go unrequited as a result of his crippling poverty. But fate changes when Peter joins the search for gold in Hill End, New South Wales. Striking it rich, he returns to Rose a wealthy man. Peter is changed by his new found affluence, heading towards the mire of greed. Will Rose regret her relationship with Peter?

Meanwhile, Rose has her own troubled history. One that is deeply entwined with Brown’s past and Peter’s future.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1754 KB
  • Print Length: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Cosmic Teapot Publishing (11 May 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #372,113 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.4 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, with an Ibsenesque Twist 12 May 2017
By Charles Freedom Long - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This historical novel about Australia in the 1800’s is a poignant tour through the mores and movements of Peter Baxter and his beloved, Rose, during the Australian gold rush years. But it is also about how Peter’s son, Malcolm Baxter became the man he was. It is a dark tale, told in language reminiscent of its time and place. The story is replete with historical accuracy—it’s easy to appreciate the depth of research the author did. Most of the book is built around Peter, a soul-wounded orphan who decides to become rich (and so, safe). His ties to Farmer Brown and his beloved, Rose —and the dark secrets they each hold-- go back to the same orphanage he escaped from. But in his efforts to make money his safety, he brings his own misfortune upon himself.

Mehreen Ahmed, the author, weaves a dark tapestry of nineteenth century Australia, using a touch of magical realism, stream of consciousness writing, supernaturalism, and a wealth of flashback. There are voices that come in the night, apparitions, the power to move objects, madness, and happenings that must go beyond mere coincidence.

The tale begins with Malcolm as a grown man, at a benefit for a local orphanage. His chauffeur John, and his sister Tiara soon enter the story. Malcolm Baxter is wealthy, unmarried, and deeply cynical. “Most of Malcolm's comments were black, churned out of some dark comedy in his mind.” That dark comedy is slowly rolled out to the reader in a series of flashbacks. There’s a mysterious red folder that Malcolm keeps close to him at all times—a folder his father held close to him until his death. Like Malcolm, the red folder begins and ends the book.

From the opening scenes, the book keeps going steadily backward in time, through Malcolm’s parents, and his grandparents, through some sordid tales of foul doings at the orphanage, to unroll a story of duplicity, complicity, cowardice, and callous behavior, mixed somehow with love. And then, like the Australian brown snake that still strikes terror into the hearts of Australians, the book coils back upon itself, delivering the venom that closes the chapter on Peter’s life, and has poisoned Malcolm’s spirit.

I’m sure many others will talk about the story of Peter and Rose. And I will leave that to them. But, there’s an added dimension to the novel that I want to highlight. In Ibsenesque style, the sins of the progenitors have been visited upon the soul of the son. Re-reading the first chapter after finishing the book, is, in my opinion, well worth the effort, in fact, almost de rigueur to have the “aha” experience the author intended when she constructed the story in this manner.

Well done, Mehreen.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damaged Souls 10 June 2017
By Robin E. Levin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Pacifist is the story of an Australian family, a saga of rags to riches and a tragic tale of souls damaged by a brutal institution.
Peter Baxter ran away from a vicious step mother and ineffectual drunken father at the age of five and ended up in an orphanage. Conditions at the orphanage were vile and sexual abuse routine. He left the orphanage at the earliest age legally possible and found refuge with an impoverished farmer, Mr. Brown. Unfortunately, the farmer has made a devil’s bargain with the orphanage-he works their land and gives half of his produce to them. His daughter, Rose, has disappeared after being placed in a mental hospital, and his wife has left him.
Peter, it seem, had met Rose several years before at the orphanage. He comforted her when she was crying after having been abused. She, however, was adopted into a loving family shortly thereafter.
When Farmer Brown and Rose’s adoptive father form a business connection a few years later, Peter connects the dots and establishes that Rose is Farmer Brown’s long missing daughter. He determines to marry her, but first, he must make his fortune. He joins the Australian gold rush and strikes it rich.
Peter’s craving for wealth, however, is never satisfied, and his methods for obtaining it are shady. He does not shy away from the illegal and the immoral. Rose is an ornament that Peter takes for granted. He is away most of the time, leaving her craving for company. Their son, Malcolm becomes more attached to the coachman, John, then he does to his own father.
I found the story colorful and absorbing. I did not understand the significance of the book’s title, as none of the main characters appeared to be a pacifist.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Must Read 27 May 2017
By Joseph Ferguson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Pacifist, by Queensland author Mehreen Ahmed, is a lavish and enigmatic fairy tale for adults; a metaphysical journey into the good and evil lurking in the hazy realms of the human psyche. This surreal, folk tale motif is reinforced, not just by the basic plot: a young man escaping an evil orphanage to find great wealth; but by the generic names of characters such as Farmer Brown, The Dumplings, John Blacksmith, and Rose, a beautiful flower with many thorns.

But this seeming simplicity belies the layered and complex structure of the tale and its inhabitants. No mere “rags to riches” narrative; it is an detailed examination of political oppression, cruelty, mental illness, and greed.

Laced with touches of magic realism and shades of the supernatural, Ahmed”s precisely drawn characters wander through memorable scenes, locales, fortunes, and misfortunes; and into readers’ minds.

Ahmed’s lush language, whether describing a sumptuous feasts, the wonders of nature, clothing, or the "hidden doors of the hospital grounds, covered in green moss, wild ferns and wet vines creeping over an old wall," renders The Pacifist is a magical must-read.

Shillelagh Law
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eloquently written historical fiction 7 July 2017
By Kent B. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Pacifist is a story that deals eloquently with complex topics. I can't help but commend the author for taking on such a project.

The real strength of the story is the setting. All the little details are there that put you in the time period and give the plot a legitimately historical feel.

Similarly, the main characters were diverse and well constructed. You feel their plight as they encounter issue after issue.

I struggled most with the inconsistent pacing. Too many words were dedicated to trivial actions and I found the plot hard to follow at times. Things do get smoother in the 2nd half.

Overall, worth a read for those interested in historical fiction.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read/Well Researched 12 May 2017
By Brandy Martin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Brown is hiding many dark secrets with the orphanage, he is bond by a contract that he holds with them and details all the dark tales in a red folder. When Farmer Brown is injured, rushed to the hospital, then released sometime after. He makes the decision to share these dark secrets with Peter.

Farmer Brown and his wife Emma had a daughter named Rose, who had her own issues. She was hearing voices, that were telling her to do terrible things, when Rose cuts herself she is transported to a mental hospital, from their Rose is taken to the very orphanage that owns her father, without her parents having any knowledge of her whereabouts. Farmer Brown was plagued with bad luck, after Rose went missing, his wife left and never returned. Peter Baxter is a poor young man who fled a horrible orphanage. He goes in search for work, when he stumbles upon a farm owned by Farmer Brown. Brown gladly gives him room and board for his help around the farm. Little does Peter know that Farmer Brown is connected to the very orphanage he left. Peter falls madly in love with Rose Carpenter, could she be the same Rose from the orphanage? Could Rose also be the missing child of Farmer Brown? In this historical tale, Peter makes it his mission to find those answers. While finding those answers, he finds wealth, greed and the need for power.

Peter makes a deal with the orphanage so he can relieve Farmer Brown of his contract, but the Red Folder will haunt the family for many years to come, it holds the secrets that they wish to never let anyone else see.

I don’t want to divulge much else. But what a twist of fate was for Peter, everything he did was for Rose and in the end, she is who broke him. You find out why Malcolm choose the life he lives, it’s not as selfish as I first thought in the beginning. What a wonderful story. I give many props to this author, not only is the book well written, but it was researched correctly to offer the reader the most authentic idea of the time and era.

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