Bethany's Reviews > Worth

Worth by A. LaFaye
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's review
Aug 25, 08

bookshelves: ya, historical-fiction
Read in August, 2008

This story about complex and confusing family ties neatly blends the stories of two families that struggle with loss and maintaining personal identies despite tragedy and grief. After a farming accident cripples a farmer's son in late-19th-century Nebraska, the farmer brings in a boy from the Orphan Train. As the parents and both boys grapple with their losses and their changing roles in the family, they also try to maintain good relations with the rest of their community despite dangerous schisms between the farming and ranching families.

The boys' relationship comes to a satisfying (if convenient) point at the end of the book, but the parents' relationship remains mostly untouched. The reader can see and feel the resentment between them, but they're never allowed to tell their own stories. Although it would have been nice to see those characters develop, it didn't detract from the story--if anything, focusing primarily on the boys made the story less unnecessarily complicated.

The characters are drawn thoroughly and convincingly, which makes this book well worth reading.
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