"Florida Gold" is a historical novel, comprised of fiction and nonfiction. It was originally published in 2011 under the title "The Orange Juice King." In 2013 it was rewritten with 21 percent new content, retitled to reflect the broader content of the book, and copyrighted under the new title.It's 1988, and Jack Thomas, the 73-year-old CEO of Tropical Juices, finally about to retire, reflects upon his life. The story quickly shifts back to Jack's birth in 1915 in a turpentine-making camp in rural Florida. The child of 15-year-old Irma Sue, who had been seduced by a son of a local moonshiner, Jack is to be raised as her brother by her parents, Pete and Margaret. Pete, however, is soon killed in a horse-riding accident. Irma Sue and Margaret move to Mobile, Alabama, hoping to earn enough money to bring Jack, left behind with friends, into a new home. Fortune smiles upon the attractive women, both marrying advantageously. The family reunites briefly before Jack is snatched to work the fields at one of Florida's illegal child labor camps. With the assistance of local Native Americans, Jack escapes the camp as a teenager. He returns to Mobile, learns of further family catastrophe, then helps the feds bust up the camps. With seed money from a surprising source, Jack starts an orange-juice business in Florida, serves with distinction in World War II and continually expands his enterprise. By novel's end, he heads a multibillion-dollar company, although still more family losses make success bittersweet.---Kirkus ReviewsPraise for Florida Gold"Allen Morris's Florida Gold is the saga of Jack Thomas, a young orphan who after escaping from a North Florida labor camp, rises to prominence as Florida's leading citrus magnate. A compelling story that carries with it both the ugliness and beauty that was Florida in the Twentieth Century-this novel chronicles the development of Florida's citrus industry from the 1930s to the present. Morris's characters are authentic and believable. This is great Florida fiction in the Patrick Smith vein." --- James M. Denham, Director, Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History and Professor of History, Florida Southern College."Florida Gold is phenomenal! It is a perfect blend of history and real life experiences, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It's educational, descriptive, and I appreciated the depiction of old FL with the business aspect and personalization blended beautifully. The imagery allows the reader to vividly see the scenes painted by the author. You can almost hear Jack's strong southern tone as if you knew him growing up as a child and were reminiscing about the good ol' times. An excellent read for anyone wishing to gain knowledge about agricultural history and southern lifestyle, or for the individual who simply wants a swell love story with an awesome plot! I recommend this book for all ages." ---Sumer Rohrs, Winner of Six National Championships in Track and Field, and the 2009 NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year."This is an amazingly told and unforgettable story, with real feeling put into the words. The characters are real and fit the story, the plot was well thought out and researched, and the whole book flows properly. Robert Morris is clearly a natural born storyteller." - Readers' Favorite, Five Star Review
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