In Kansas, three families have coexisted not-so-peacefully for more than one hundred and fifty years: the Grelliers, the Fremantles, and the Schapens. Into their lives comes Gina Haring, a relative of the Fremantles who is house-sitting the derelict family mansion while she puts her own life in order. Her lifestyle ...more
The novel is not a V I Warshawski book but I read it now because I am going through Sara Paretsky's books in the order in which she published them. The only other non-Warshawski novel so far was Ghost Country but that one was set in Chicago, as are all the Warshwskis. This is a stand-alone set in Kansas.
I guess because of the title I thought it would be about the bloody conflict over slavery, John Brown, etc. Since I read The Good Lord Bird earlier this year, I figured that would be fine.
This is a book full of extremes. It has Wiccan. It has Hassidic Jews. It has born again Christians. It has locals who vehemently support and oppose the war ...more
I guess this is Paretsky's ode to her home. The cover promises a "gripping novel," a "strong and stark protrayal of the heartland." Well, it does seem to be a solid, good read, populated with real people. The writing is as good as we expect frm Paretsky. For instance, " . . . she's one more teenager in a place where everyone seems to lead disturbed o ...more
A long-time fan of Paretsky's VI Warshawski detective series, I was intrigued by this book's premise: connecting the pre-civil war strife in Kansas to modern days "warfare" between long time neighbors in the same town 150 years later. So I was rather surprised when I found I could easily put this book down with astonishingly transparent excuses.
I started this befo ...more
The story was convoluted with every societal issue possible--teenage sex, over the top rel ...more
This is a story of a small town and 3 of the families that live there: Grelliers, Schapens and Burtons. It addresses old conflicts in a modern era and Paretsky does it remarkably. The ...more
Looking at Kansas as an outsider, I think this book does a pretty good job of portraying the loc ...more
"In Kansas, on land that once saw some of America's bloodiest antislavery battles, three families have coexisted for more than one hundred fifty years: the Grelliers, the Fremantles, and the Schapens. Once allies in the fight against slavery, today the Schapens and the Grelliers disagree on every subject, from organic farming to the war in Iraq, but above all on religion.
Into their lives comes Gina Haring, a relative of the Fremantles who is house-sitting the derelict family mansion while ...more
I did appreciate the motif of uneasy neighborliness: When you and your neighbors have lived across the road from each other ...more
Paretsky set this stand-alone novel in her own birthplace, Kansas. Throughout the book, Paretsky jumps between the present day and the 150-year-old journal of the protagonists' ancestor, drawing parallels between the racial intolerance of Civil-War-era Kansas and the religious intolerance of ...more
I was not able to write a review immediately for this novel...that may be partly an excuse because I like to read so ...more
I guess I'm a Sara Paretsky completist so I wasn't put off by this not being a VI book and not even being a mystery. I was pretty much going to enjoy it whatever. That's probably a good thing because the story is pretty slow to get going. The first quarter of the book or so is a long introduction to place and character and history before the plot really takes off.
The place is Kansas, reading the introduction afterwards I discovered that the book is set in the area where Paretsky herself grew up....more
The Grelliers and the Schapens have farmed the land since before statehood, but the two families are close only in terms of the proximity of their land. Jim and Susan Grellier and their two teenage children, Chip and Lara, live on a modestly successful farm. Arnie Schapen and his mother, Myra, live with Arnie’s teenage sons on the next farm. Bitter, contro ...more