“Montana Snowfall” by Caroline Fyffe was a very good read. In her novel, Ms. Fyffe portrays a young St. Louis girl from a big family who is desperate“Montana Snowfall” by Caroline Fyffe was a very good read. In her novel, Ms. Fyffe portrays a young St. Louis girl from a big family who is desperate to leave. She concocts a story about visiting her sister and husband in Y Knot, Montana, even though she has not let them know that she is coming. Her reason for going away is to spare her family the shame she feels for the predicament she is in. Personally, I think her refusal to let her family help her is misguided. However, it does make for a good storyline.
Sally travels to Montana by train and stage and at one point during the journey, the stage overturns and she rides for help on one of the mules. She is caught in a blinding snowstorm and just manages to find a hunter’s cabin where she takes shelter. Also caught in the storm is Roadie Guthrie, a ranch hand for the McCutcheon family who is more like a son to the patriarch and his wife. All of their children and families live in or near the main ranch house and are protected by each other. Roadie finds the hunter’s cabin and he and Sally are forced to remain together for three days waiting out the storm. Roadie and Sally form a friendship, and Sally’s predicament causes Roadie to come to her rescue again.
I thought this story was well-thought out and I loved the characters. Roadie was a kind and gentle person and Sally, although misguided, was a lovely girl caught up in circumstances beyond her control. I think you’ll like this book.
“The Orphan Keeper”, written by Camron Wright is actually based on a true story. This book is set in Erode, India in 1978. Chellamuthu and his family“The Orphan Keeper”, written by Camron Wright is actually based on a true story. This book is set in Erode, India in 1978. Chellamuthu and his family live in a hut, a hovel really. His mother and father and siblings live in the one “room”. Kuppaswami, his father, is a hard man, given to drink, and not able to provide much for his family. Arayi, Chellamuthu’s mother, works at a textile factory, which leaves the children home alone for most of the day. Chellamuthu is constantly getting into trouble, running with the wrong crowd, and being generally mischievous. He is only seven years old.
One day, he goes with his father to the marketplace and is told to wait outside the building. Of course, he sees friends and decides to see what they are up to. His “friends” lure him to a waiting van, and throw him inside as the van speeds away. He is scared but notices other children in this van. He is taken to the Lincoln Home for Homeless Children, actually sold to the orphan home. Even though he tells those in charge that he has a family and was taken, they do not try to find them. What follows is the tale of Chellamuthu, his adoption by an American family and his struggle to fit in. His parents change his name to Taj, hoping this will help him adapt better. Meanwhile, his family in India searches every day until they exhaust all avenues and have to give up. Taj wants to go home, but after ten years gives up. After he marries his Indian wife and meets an Indian family, they help him discover the truth of his past. It seems hopeless as they try to find the area from which he was taken and then to trace his actual home. When he actually does find his mother, father and siblings, it is an unbelievable reunion. Eventually both families meet and now Taj has two families.
This book about his journey to find himself and his heritage is heartbreaking in one sense and equally satisfying in another. It shows that although families may not physically stay together, there is a lifelong bond between all members that will never go away.
Jennifer Chiavarini is probably one of my most favorite authors. I have read all her books and they are always wonderful. However, I think her latestJennifer Chiavarini is probably one of my most favorite authors. I have read all her books and they are always wonderful. However, I think her latest novel is perhaps her best. “Fates and Traitors” is a book about the assassination of President Lincoln. However, Ms. Chiavarini’s book dwells on John Wilkes Booth, the assassin. Even though this book is clearly an historical fiction, the persons and situations are probably as accurate as possible given the author’s extensive research. John Wilkes' father, Junius Brutus Booth, was a Shakespearian actor in London. He had a wife and son, but also many dalliances with members of the opposite sex. He met Mary Ann Holmes as she sold flowers from her father’s shop in Covent Garden. He pursued her relentlessly until she fell in love with him. She accidently discovered his marriage and tried to stay away from him. However he persuaded her to leave England and travel with him to America where he was destined to become a famous Shakespearian actor, quite revered on the stage. This book focuses on John Wilkes, his family, his friends, his successes and his foibles. I enjoyed this novel especially because the story it so different from others that were written about the assassination of President Lincoln. It shows that John Wilkes Booth’s actions had severe and life-long repercussions to those he loved and who loved him. Keeping in mind that this is a work of fiction, I still can see that what Ms. Chiavarini wrote could have happened and perhaps did. Her skillful development of the characters kept me so interested and was in fact one of the reasons I really like this book.
Reading “Promise Lodge” by Charlotte Hubbard brought to mind the strength and determination of women who have set their minds on accomplishing somethiReading “Promise Lodge” by Charlotte Hubbard brought to mind the strength and determination of women who have set their minds on accomplishing something worthwhile. The Bender sisters have each known heartache and tragedy in their lives and see no benefit to staying with their Old Order Amish community. They find property to purchase which will afford them a living while giving other families a new place to live. These three women along with their children and a bishop from their old community are well on their way to realizing their dream of establishing a new home. Noah, son of Mattie Bender Schwartz, has accompanied his mother and brother. He is trying to overcome the breakup from his fiancée, Deborah. Lo, and behold, Deborah comes to their community after having been thrown out of her family’s house after a misunderstanding. She has suffered severely at the hands of some town “toughs”, but no one will believe her story and thinks the worst of her. She also wants to rekindle the romance she had with Noah. This novel sweetly tells the story of new adventures, hard work, love and dedication. I think you would enjoy this uplifting story.