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The Writing on the Wall

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In this new series, Dean Hughes paints a fascinating picture of the turbulent 60's. The Berlin Wall. The Cold War. The Kennedy Assassination. The Civil Rights movement. Issues and events marked by prosperity, unrest, increasing global awareness as well as divisiveness over national priorities. The babies who were born to Al and Bea Thomas' children at the end of the bestse In this new series, Dean Hughes paints a fascinating picture of the turbulent 60's. The Berlin Wall. The Cold War. The Kennedy Assassination. The Civil Rights movement. Issues and events marked by prosperity, unrest, increasing global awareness as well as divisiveness over national priorities. The babies who were born to Al and Bea Thomas' children at the end of the bestselling Children of the Promise series are young adults now and are all being affected in different ways.


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In this new series, Dean Hughes paints a fascinating picture of the turbulent 60's. The Berlin Wall. The Cold War. The Kennedy Assassination. The Civil Rights movement. Issues and events marked by prosperity, unrest, increasing global awareness as well as divisiveness over national priorities. The babies who were born to Al and Bea Thomas' children at the end of the bestse In this new series, Dean Hughes paints a fascinating picture of the turbulent 60's. The Berlin Wall. The Cold War. The Kennedy Assassination. The Civil Rights movement. Issues and events marked by prosperity, unrest, increasing global awareness as well as divisiveness over national priorities. The babies who were born to Al and Bea Thomas' children at the end of the bestselling Children of the Promise series are young adults now and are all being affected in different ways.

30 review for The Writing on the Wall

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. WOW! I LOVE IT! Dean Hughes did an AMAZING job with this book! My dad was tiling when I was reading it and I was so close to finishing the book. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get to the second right after! My favorite character is Diane, even if she is a little priss. I love the characters though! Kathy is probably my least favorite or Hans but I still like them both a lot! I was a little skeptical on how this would turn out, I have to say I wish that Beverly's story had been told in t WOW! I LOVE IT! Dean Hughes did an AMAZING job with this book! My dad was tiling when I was reading it and I was so close to finishing the book. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get to the second right after! My favorite character is Diane, even if she is a little priss. I love the characters though! Kathy is probably my least favorite or Hans but I still like them both a lot! I was a little skeptical on how this would turn out, I have to say I wish that Beverly's story had been told in the other series, The Children of the Promise, or it had been given a summary in The Writing on the Wall. I also whish that the author had covered more parts of Diane's story liek her first date with Scott, hehe, he was a bad boy. It would have been nice if he had also covered Scott's and Diane's break up. I think that the author did great with covering all the other character's lives but it seems like Diane's life isn't getting the proper attention it should- like the others. All in all I LOVE the book and can't wait to finished the second and get to the third, then the fourth, then the fifth!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Books and Socks Rock

    I loved the COTP series and was so intrigued with the idea of their kids and all the crazy events that happened in the 60s. This book is slow and I know it'll pick up as history events unfold. It seems to follow Gene (Alex), Kathy (Wally) and Diane (Bobbi), none of the other kids are mentioned very much. I was hoping to get more of Beverly since I loved her as a little girl in COTP. Hans story is intriguing. I will read the others. Even Hughes in his forward said it was rushed and not many bets I loved the COTP series and was so intrigued with the idea of their kids and all the crazy events that happened in the 60s. This book is slow and I know it'll pick up as history events unfold. It seems to follow Gene (Alex), Kathy (Wally) and Diane (Bobbi), none of the other kids are mentioned very much. I was hoping to get more of Beverly since I loved her as a little girl in COTP. Hans story is intriguing. I will read the others. Even Hughes in his forward said it was rushed and not many bets readers went over it. Plus I'm surprised at the amount of song lyrics. Did he get copyright permission for it?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I know I am so going to love this series as much (maybe more) than the first one (Children of the Promise.) I love it! Dean Hughes is very talented and masterful at creating emotion in real life issues. I can really get into the story and the characters. I really like reading from all the points of view. I think my least favorite was Hans. I really like Gene and Kathy(even though she is so radical). :D With Diane I would have liked to see the break-up with her and Scott. I was so gl A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I know I am so going to love this series as much (maybe more) than the first one (Children of the Promise.) I love it! Dean Hughes is very talented and masterful at creating emotion in real life issues. I can really get into the story and the characters. I really like reading from all the points of view. I think my least favorite was Hans. I really like Gene and Kathy(even though she is so radical). :D With Diane I would have liked to see the break-up with her and Scott. I was so glad when she decided to get rid of him, and I wanted to see her DO it. Oh well. I really suspected Scott as their relationship went along. He was just avoiding things and NOT showing the sincerness he claimed. Just way obvious. And he is a BAD BOY. I'm glad I can learn from these fictional stories. :D I do think Diane played a part in their troubles which she admits. Good for her! But also that Scott was quite the deciever. Tsk Tsk. Their story was interesting, but one little thing that bugged me, (no worries if you laugh, this is VERY trivial) is that every chapter that dealt with Diane and Scott began with "Diane was with Scott." This happened twice in a row and I did not miss it. I know. Very trivial. But it bugged me.Very Original. Not. Kathy was pretty fun. I know that she's very strong minded and radical, but I really liked her POV. I could agree with her and though sometimes I didn't agree when she got way out of hand, I still liked her. Hans, I wanted to scream at him sometimes. I mean I can see how he could fall away from the church, but he had had some VERY real spiritual experiences.. I think Dean did amazing with his story though. Gene was Goody-Goody-Too-Shoes. But he was still fun to read about. I really liked him and Marsha. Oh man. Marsha was awesome! I totally will NOT be happy if they are not together. Like not happy. I think that they were not right for each other, but Gene will change on his mission, and Marsha while he's gone, and then he'll get back and they'll be right for each other. And they had better be, or I'll scream. Don't worry, it'll be in my pillow. You'll be spared. Their romance reminds me of Wally and Lorraine in the first series. And Wally and Lorraine were the couple that I felt exactly the same way about. :D I laughed at the part when Gene got "Dear Johnned" and the missionaries did the twist as they burned the letter. Haha that was just great. This book like I said was AMAZING! I love it, and am so ready for the next one. I am sad that Dean didn't prolong their High school years as much, but I will still really enjoy then next ones as they change and grow. Another asset is that I learn a lot about the history and polotics of the time. It's a totally great way to learn!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nolan

    Another book about growing up in the tumultuous 1960s. Ah, but that's just it. This isn't just another book about growing -up in the '60s. It's actually one of the best looks at the subject you'll find anywhere in the realms of historical fiction. This is the story of a post-World War II generation, born to conservative, religious parents, many of whom fought the war. This is a dazzlingly well-written account of those young people trying to make sense of a world that seemed completely out of con Another book about growing up in the tumultuous 1960s. Ah, but that's just it. This isn't just another book about growing -up in the '60s. It's actually one of the best looks at the subject you'll find anywhere in the realms of historical fiction. This is the story of a post-World War II generation, born to conservative, religious parents, many of whom fought the war. This is a dazzlingly well-written account of those young people trying to make sense of a world that seemed completely out of control and beyond their control. You meet Gene Thomas, named after an uncle who died in World War II. Gene has it all! he's good in sports, he can get any girl he wants, he's a born leader, and life generally falls into place" nicely for him. His dad, Alex, a World War II hero elected to Congress, is his example. And yet, Gene is pulled through a refiner's fire as he learns just how superficial he is, and his story is set against the background of the early 60s. Kennedy has committed the nation to a moon landing, and he is gradually increasing the nation's involvement in an obscure southeast Asian country in the simplistic hope that the threats of communism and cold war victories can be averted. Diane, Gene's cousin, just wants to go to BYU, marry a nice guy, and essentially be a baby factory. She simply can't understand the fervor of her cousin, Cathy, who is clearly uncomfortable with things as they are in conservative Salt Lake City and looks for ways to change the world. The first volume in this three-volume series will leave you with much to think about. It's far, far better than I've described it. Hughe's writing style takes a real high road in LDS fiction that most authors in the genre never achieve. Another branch of the family lives in East Germany, and their story is captivating indeed. How do you hold onto your beliefs while the repression of the German Democratic Republic would do all it can to destroy those beliefs and force you to give all your loyalty to the party and the government. East Germany is portrayed here as a nation in which no one can trust his friend or neighbor. It is a place wherein youthful indiscretions are punished well into adulthood. And yet, the family determines to stay on in the country, believing that it can do more good within than without. You'll get acquainted with this family in this first book of the series, and their lives will become entwined with yours, so brilliantly does Hughes develop them.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stan Crowe

    I think one of the best things about Dean Hughes' authorial style is that it's clean and transparent. The story pulls you in, but you're not constantly being reminded that you're *in* a story--that, to me, is a mark of a skilled author. I had to laugh, a little, when I realised that after reading (well, listening to) several of the "Hearts of the Children" series that I had become engrossed in what essentially amounts to and LDS literary soap opera. But Hughes has definitely done his homework, ma I think one of the best things about Dean Hughes' authorial style is that it's clean and transparent. The story pulls you in, but you're not constantly being reminded that you're *in* a story--that, to me, is a mark of a skilled author. I had to laugh, a little, when I realised that after reading (well, listening to) several of the "Hearts of the Children" series that I had become engrossed in what essentially amounts to and LDS literary soap opera. But Hughes has definitely done his homework, making the background and historicity of his novels very accurate and believable. His characters are also very compelling and 3-dimensional, and I guess there's just something in me that enjoys following the lives of a couple of families across several generations. This is clean, easy reading that doesn't insult the readers' intelligence, and doesn't compromise any standards (at least not LDS standards). It's a good escape, reading-wise, and though it has the semi-meandering quality of any soap opera, the stories are ones that are good enough that you want to keep following them--even across consecutive series. It's not great literature, necessarily (hence 4-star vs. 5-star), but Hughes makes for good reading that's engaging and entertaining. I'm going to recommend his books.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I thought it was boring, and sometimes I thought it was annoying or tedious. I really liked some of the stories a lot. I liked the stories about Hans. I related to the one's about Diane. I liked the end better than the beginning, when Gene was brought down to earth. And I liked the part about Mississippi, which made me tear up. But cousin crushes? Weird. And it was really cheesy at first.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn Frank

    The Thomas family is back in Utah, and their children are now the stars of the novels. Gene is the allstar athlete at his high school but must make the decision to serve a mission or to continue on with sports. His cousin Kathy is very informed regarding the events of the Civil Rights movement, and must be involved to sooth her conscience. Their half-german cousin Hans is desperate to go to Utah to see his american family, but things are looking worse and worse in East Germany. With the pressure The Thomas family is back in Utah, and their children are now the stars of the novels. Gene is the allstar athlete at his high school but must make the decision to serve a mission or to continue on with sports. His cousin Kathy is very informed regarding the events of the Civil Rights movement, and must be involved to sooth her conscience. Their half-german cousin Hans is desperate to go to Utah to see his american family, but things are looking worse and worse in East Germany. With the pressures mounting on the United States army, this family must deal with the termoil that comes with the time period. It is exceptionally good to know what is going on with the characters who I grew to love so much in the "Children of the Promise" series! I feel like their children are going through the very same things that I am going through.... The writing is just as good as I remember, and the characters are anything but static. I would reccommend this book to anyone! I love being able to read about an LDS family facing the problems of that day!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter)

    Like the Children of the Promise series, I loved this book. Dean Hughes is brilliant in the way he discusses issues (showing the gray of each issue, that they're not just black and white) and also creates the most wonderful characters. There is so much variety in each of his characters' beliefs and life views, it really makes you think about your own life and our own views while at the same time letting you really empathize and understand the characters and understand viewpoints different from y Like the Children of the Promise series, I loved this book. Dean Hughes is brilliant in the way he discusses issues (showing the gray of each issue, that they're not just black and white) and also creates the most wonderful characters. There is so much variety in each of his characters' beliefs and life views, it really makes you think about your own life and our own views while at the same time letting you really empathize and understand the characters and understand viewpoints different from your own. I also have already learned so much about the sixties that I had never learned before. I am so excited to continue this series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    Loved this series, although I did have to read it LONG after I had finished the first series so that I wasn't angry at only getting to see the original characters through their children's eyes. The characters were well written and I felt like I got a better general understanding of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the beginnings of the Feminist movement, and the assassination of President Kennedy. It never occurred to me that some of the controversy over Vietnam could have arisen beca Loved this series, although I did have to read it LONG after I had finished the first series so that I wasn't angry at only getting to see the original characters through their children's eyes. The characters were well written and I felt like I got a better general understanding of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the beginnings of the Feminist movement, and the assassination of President Kennedy. It never occurred to me that some of the controversy over Vietnam could have arisen because of an understandable disconnect between two generations: the older generation being those who had lived through WWII and a younger generation that didn't.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Fielding

    Gene Thomas and his trusty cousins are growing up in a difficult world. This story follows Gene, Dianne, Kathy, and Hans as they face different challenges in the 60's. Gene is a popular athletic high school boy. Dianne is beautiful, but cannot see it in herself. Kathy isn't taken seriously because she is a girl. Hans is a Mormon is Germany and is receiving religious persecution. Will they make it through to the end? I really liked this story and the different scenarios that are portrayed. I also Gene Thomas and his trusty cousins are growing up in a difficult world. This story follows Gene, Dianne, Kathy, and Hans as they face different challenges in the 60's. Gene is a popular athletic high school boy. Dianne is beautiful, but cannot see it in herself. Kathy isn't taken seriously because she is a girl. Hans is a Mormon is Germany and is receiving religious persecution. Will they make it through to the end? I really liked this story and the different scenarios that are portrayed. I also like the elements from history that are added in. This book will help individuals learn about history, and also little bits more about themselves Content Warning historical context

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Robison

    Took me awhile to get through it and to trust that it wasn't a fluffy book. I love history and I loved learning about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints growing up in the 60s. It was really interesting to hear about their experiences with the death of JFK and the racial unrest as well as the family living behind the wall in Berlin and another young men serving his mission in Germany. And the characters had depth and real struggles and it took them time to work to understa Took me awhile to get through it and to trust that it wasn't a fluffy book. I love history and I loved learning about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints growing up in the 60s. It was really interesting to hear about their experiences with the death of JFK and the racial unrest as well as the family living behind the wall in Berlin and another young men serving his mission in Germany. And the characters had depth and real struggles and it took them time to work to understand and appreciate their parents. I would recommend this to those who appreciate historical fiction especially learning about a more recent period of history

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I liked parts of the first series but not all of it. I started this series because I wanted to see what happened to family members. I listened to the audio version of this book and almost stopped a few times. Sometimes I think the author tries too hard and that the characters aren’t that deep and are at times annoying and unrealistic. And yet I finished the book and plan to finish the rest of the series. I think the parts that keep me hooked are the parts about Peter’s family in East Germany, th I liked parts of the first series but not all of it. I started this series because I wanted to see what happened to family members. I listened to the audio version of this book and almost stopped a few times. Sometimes I think the author tries too hard and that the characters aren’t that deep and are at times annoying and unrealistic. And yet I finished the book and plan to finish the rest of the series. I think the parts that keep me hooked are the parts about Peter’s family in East Germany, those are my favorite and I wish there were more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    LeeAnn

    I really enjoyed the humanness of this story. I got tangled in all the names of the various families, and that made it a bit tougher. And how the situation of each family was too ideal, but I loved the realism of that especially reading it in 2020 with some similar issues happening in our country now, especially with racial tensions. I'm not sure I want to finish this series because I like open endings where I can decide what might happen rather than having the end of the stories told.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Esther May

    This book actually made me really frustrated. I did not identify with any of the characters and their place in the story. They were all so stereo typical and extreme that I did not see myself in any of them. I loved the Children of the Promise series so I thought that I would try this one out. I was a little disappointed, but that being said, I think that I will have to read more.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Danni

    this was a cool book I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Too predictable If you know Mormon culture and the 1960s this book will hold no surprises. Young people may find it interesting and spark a discussion with older people.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    4.5 stars

  18. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    Good historical fiction. There are multiple story lines that develop as you watch each character grow up and come of age.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Loved this book. I like the history and the fictional families that he has. Makes you feel like you really know them.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I don't review everything I read but these are great books! Start with the Children of the Promise Series first then read this series. It helps the story run smoother.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    If you have never read LDS historical fiction, start with this one. I have read so little about the 60’s. This brought so many varying perspectives to life. Great book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Interesting story about life in the 60s. I felt that it was interesting to see how many things are still a problem now.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    Good book, quite relevant to our times of political division, civil unrest, and racial tension.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I gave this book up after 50 pages. Didn’t like it. Very contrived.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Life has a lot of pain. You can't wait until the pain stops to enjoy yourself. (Chapter 2)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is exactly what it says it is. A sequel series. AKA, the first series is done, but the author just can't leave it at the end!! Which was a good end, even though i though even book five was a wrap-up book. Now the author's doing a whole SERIES to wrap-it up!!! If it weren't for Hans, I don't think I'd survive this book. And that goes for the other books in this series, also. (yes, I've read them) I just can't take a series where nothing is happening, and the characters are all just having th This is exactly what it says it is. A sequel series. AKA, the first series is done, but the author just can't leave it at the end!! Which was a good end, even though i though even book five was a wrap-up book. Now the author's doing a whole SERIES to wrap-it up!!! If it weren't for Hans, I don't think I'd survive this book. And that goes for the other books in this series, also. (yes, I've read them) I just can't take a series where nothing is happening, and the characters are all just having their own teenage problems, etc. And I hate Diane, just for the record. Especially in Book #2. What an idiot! Gene is okay, sometimes. He's just so cocky! And Kathy is another story. I liked her in the beginning, but I just can't STAND her in book #2, especially. eek!!!!!! she may be trying to save the world and make a huge difference, but all i see is that she has serious social issues. or lack of social. anyhoo, as i said before, hans is keeping be going. he actually has a story to tell, even though i didn't like him as much in book 1, i like him a lot better as the series progresses. and yes, I read the series even though i'm here saying they're terrible. i like to finish things and feel like i have the whole story. oh, yes. One thing i hate. it's all fine that the series is talking about the children of the parents, but does that suddenly mean the parents lose all of their character and personality?? apparently it does, in this series. it seems like all the parents are the same. i'm especially disappointed with Wally, because he was my hero in the first series, but now he's the same as everyone else. any character the parents have is shallow and makes it seem like they aren't the same characters as before. i understand people can change, but that doesn't mean they lose all of their "uniqueness" and personality.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stan

    I think one of the best things about Dean Hughes' authorial style is that it's clean and transparent. The story pulls you in, but you're not constantly being reminded that you're *in* a story--that, to me, is a mark of a skilled author. I had to laugh, a little, when I realised that after reading (well, listening to) "Far From home," and a few of the sequels, that I had become engrossed in what essentially amounts to and LDS literary soap opera. But Hughes has definitely done his homework, making I think one of the best things about Dean Hughes' authorial style is that it's clean and transparent. The story pulls you in, but you're not constantly being reminded that you're *in* a story--that, to me, is a mark of a skilled author. I had to laugh, a little, when I realised that after reading (well, listening to) "Far From home," and a few of the sequels, that I had become engrossed in what essentially amounts to and LDS literary soap opera. But Hughes has definitely done his homework, making the background and historicity of his novels very accurate and believable. His characters are also very compelling and 3-dimensional, and I guess there's just something in me that enjoys following the lives of a couple of families across several generations. This is clean, easy reading that doesn't insult the readers' intelligence, and doesn't compromise any standards (at least not LDS standards). It's a good escape, reading-wise, and though it has the semi-meandering quality of any soap opera, the stories are ones that are good enough that you want to keep following them--even across consecutive series. It's not great literature, necessarily (hence 4-star vs. 5-star), but Hughes makes for good reading that's engaging and entertaining. I'm going to recommend his books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    P

    For those familiar with the author's "Children of the Promise" series, this book opens up the sequel series where we follow the grandchildren of Alexander and Bea Thomas--the Baby Boomers. Wonderfully written, this book centers on four teens who are cousins. Gene is the most popular guy at his high school who struggles with being a missionary in West Germany. Kathy is passionate about the Civil Rights Movement and travels to the South to serve the cause. Diane dates the new boy from California, For those familiar with the author's "Children of the Promise" series, this book opens up the sequel series where we follow the grandchildren of Alexander and Bea Thomas--the Baby Boomers. Wonderfully written, this book centers on four teens who are cousins. Gene is the most popular guy at his high school who struggles with being a missionary in West Germany. Kathy is passionate about the Civil Rights Movement and travels to the South to serve the cause. Diane dates the new boy from California, Scott, but wonders if his new interest in the LDS church is genuine--or does he just want to be in a closer relationship with Diane? Hans lives behind the Iron Curtain and has to decide how much he will live his religion as it affects his place in school and job prospects for both him and his father. With lots of references to LDS culture, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will especially enjoy this book, but those who read general Christian fiction will also find this series uplifting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Williams

    I read this series a long time ago and can't really remeber the details. I love the writing of Dean Hughes and how he brings real history into his stories so that people who didn't pay attention to world events while they were happening all around them (me), could learn more about the 1960's era which was when I grew up. I was a baby during the Kennedy assassination, racial segration and my dad served in Vietnam. I still remember him leaving when I was in 1st grade and the kids in my class think I read this series a long time ago and can't really remeber the details. I love the writing of Dean Hughes and how he brings real history into his stories so that people who didn't pay attention to world events while they were happening all around them (me), could learn more about the 1960's era which was when I grew up. I was a baby during the Kennedy assassination, racial segration and my dad served in Vietnam. I still remember him leaving when I was in 1st grade and the kids in my class thinking that I didn't have a dad. Dad never talks about this time much, so I was able to gleen some knowledge from the books. This series starts where the "Children of the Promise" leaves off and follows the next generation of the Thomas family through the 60's & 70's. Love the characters and felt like I could hav been one their brothers or sisters growing up. Historical fiction has got to be my favorite subject to read. True events kept interesting in an engaging story line.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I wasn't going to start this follow-up series because it is the WW2 stuff in the Children of the Promise series that I am obsessed with...but I ended up really enjoying this book. I know very little about the sixties, and I love that reading about the events gives me a little perspective on my parent's lives at that time, especially since my family all went to the same high school that the Thomas' kids go to in the book. Same neighborhoods, same hang outs, same football games they'd have gone to I wasn't going to start this follow-up series because it is the WW2 stuff in the Children of the Promise series that I am obsessed with...but I ended up really enjoying this book. I know very little about the sixties, and I love that reading about the events gives me a little perspective on my parent's lives at that time, especially since my family all went to the same high school that the Thomas' kids go to in the book. Same neighborhoods, same hang outs, same football games they'd have gone to, all very cool. Plus, after reading five books, I adore the Thomas family! I love how the family dynamics are so realistic - and I love that not everyone is a straight arrow like President Thomas and Alex. I can relate to LaRue and to Bobbi and to Kathy - and it's nice to be reminded that I'm not the only one! :)

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