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Amazon book page

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Reviews of Slow Road Home at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble 


Amazon.com Review  / Today for lunch I joined a friend I've never met. We walked along a creek with no name under hemlocks in a valley I've never seen. We passed a barn I've only envisioned in painted light upon my screen. The sun I couldn't see glistened on grasses in the field to dry the dew I did not feel. I wasn't there, and yet I was, visiting with Fred on Goose Creek in the mountains of Floyd County


I'll go there again tomorrow for lunch as I revisit a "Slow Road Home". Won't you come along? We'll visit Ann's Falls, we'll sit a spell under the white pines, we'll wave at the neighbors from the front porch. We'll while away the time as we discuss the important issues of the day, the bumblebees at play, and the hawks upon the wing. We can discuss anything at all as we visit there on the creek with no name along that "Slow Road Home". 


A visit to Fred thru a "Slow Road Home" always slows the day, sets the pace to another time, and takes you to another place. The place you've longed for since childhood, a place that brings back the memories of grandparents and more. A time when the constant companion was a single word...Why? Walk a while and listen to another's whys, you may discover the child you left a long time ago, far, far away. 


Where else can you feel free to laze in a summer rain, loll in an open field at night to watch the fireflies rise and stars fall, or chase spiders as they glide by? There is a maple on the cover that shelters a house that seems to have been there forever. The house is nestled up to the ridge like you shelter in the covers of a bed. How do I know this? I have seen this house thru the eyes of someone who loves it, and the tree, and the ridge and all it encompasses. You can see it too. Come walk the pages of Fred First's "Slow Road Home"...You never know, we may meet along the road.


by Gary Boyd  March 2007




Amazon.com Review  /  "Again and again as I read, I went back to my bookshelf to compare this work with that of Annie Dillard. Fred expresses a similar wisdom tinged with amazed gratitude at finding himself alone and content to record the measure of his days along the winding valleys and hilltops of the Blue Ridge in Floyd County, Virginia. My only worry is that others will attempt to literally follow him there with less awareness of the fragility of this remote ecosystem, and so I recommend reading the book and not necessarily visiting (!) in order to experience the beauty of that place, whose remoteness and inaccessibility is intrinsic to its survival. 


Fred First takes us on a path of his own discovery that parallels the similar paths of others who have explored voluntary simplicity and introspection, leading us toward a closer connection with everyday experiences, finding the joy in shared experiences with a cherished companion, and the quiet peace that comes from solitude in natural surroundings. Through images and words Fred brings us with him, and we can truly partake of that same wonder, gratitude, and compassion, and recognize the value in simple reflection on nature's bounty, which truly is all around us.


Thank you Fred, for sharing with us your heartfelt account of your personal geography. May you continue to bring us the same at Fragments from Floyd."


by Susannah Eanes  February 28, 2007




Amazon.com Review  /  In Slow Road Home, VA resident Fred First invites us to join him on his journey to discover his home. I'm not talking about a quest of epic proportions here. I'm talking about Fred getting to know his 40 acres, 1 tree at a time. With a naturalist's eye, he writes of symphonies of fireflies in his meadow, and the honor of the wood that shades him from the sun as it lives, and heats his home on its death. 


Fred lives the life I aspire to; busy, but not hurried. There are lessons for all of us in his journey. The world, even our suburban backyards, are wondrous places, if only we would slow down to see it.


by Chris O'donnell January 16, 2007




Barnes & Noble Review /   I Want to Visit Goose Creek!  Jan 07   For anyone who lives in, loves, or longs for the Blue Ridge mountains or just enjoys nature and a slower pace of life, this is a must-read! Fred has an incredible gift with words and an eye for the ordinary and small things that most of us pass by and take for granted. The book is made up of short essays and vignettes about his life on his farm in a little narrow valley of southwest Virginia. He takes the reader along with him as he discovers the wonders that are just outside his back door. I loved the book, which is best read slowly, one essay at a time, to take in the thoughts and imagery of each entry


by Amy F, January 2007



Barnes & Noble Review /  Opened eyes and minds to natures simplicity and abounding beauty  / Jan 07    I loved this book.It awakened all my senses to natures unabounding beauty and the simplicity of a rural life style.I realized this is an attainable dream that has been hidden away in the corners of my mind and heart.


A reviewer, in love with the state of Virginia


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