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“Three men and they all took something from me: my affection, my promise, and my innocence. What has love given me...? Nothing. Nothing but pain.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“On this cliff, I can almost touch the night sky; it hovers so close and puts a distance between me and the things threatening my conscience. I lay on a blanket in the damp grass and enfold myself in the drama of other worlds. The Big and Little Dipper tilt toward me, as if ready to spill their contents, and Scorpius curls its tail, ready to strike. The problems of my little life shrink under the majesty of such an expanse.”
Jenny Knipfer, Blue Moon
“Maang-ikwe told me one night how I had sprung from a place of desire, anger, and fear. But my mother also told me, “It does not matter how we begin. It matters how we end.” She pointed out, “Pain brings a richer harvest than contentment.”

I think she was right. For as I look around at the people present, I am thankful for the harvest of lives which came birthed from painful places.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“We never think what we'll miss about them before a person is gone. It is only after, in the hollow of their absence, that we realize it is the simple things we crave, like the sound of a voice, the warmth of a touch, a smile of happiness, and most of all simply their presence.”
Jenny Knipfer, Ruby Moon
“Brave. I have been brave for years. I am tired of being brave.
But I choke down my fatigue and force myself to move. It is what I do, because I am a soldier and . . .
I am a spy. --Silver Moon”
Jenny Knipfer, Silver Moon
“Oh, God. You always seem so far away, but for some strange reason, here You feel near. Maybe when we hurt the most, need You the most, the wall between Your realm and ours becomes transparent, and we can sense You.”
Jenny Knipfer, Silver Moon
“I reach up and slowly turn her face to mine. I stroke the delicate skin
of her cheek with my fingertips. Her skin feels like a rose petal under my touch. I draw my arm around her and bring her close enough to feel the beating of her heart. I do what I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I kiss her, and she kisses me back. It starts a fire in me, but she pulls back and breathlessly confirms my suspicions.”
Jenny Knipfer, Silver Moon
“What name do I give him? That should be his father’s job, his vision. I think hard. I don’t want to wait for a dream to come. I give him the name he came with.
Niin-mawin—I cry for him.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“My mother always said that one day I’d get ripped open by my stubbornness, and she was right. It’s my fool, stubborn heart which led to Ignacio’s banishment and will most likely lead to mine.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“My darling, you are the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last thought I have before I drift off at night. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms.”
Jenny Knipfer, Silver Moon
“Life’s not so much filled with good or bad things. They are just things, but . . . if we give our ‘things’ to someone bigger than us, they become . . . what makes us a better person. So even something we might deem as bad can be good.”
Jenny Knipfer, Silver Moon
“God does not desire evil for us. He wants to set our feet upon a sure path. This doesn’t mean we will not face trouble, only that He will be with us to guide us through it.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“Just the right rock calls to me. I crouch and finger the worn, smooth spots on its oblong surface. Its weight rests in my hand for a few seconds, before I hurl the cold, blue stone into the lake and turn and walk towards home. My feet catch in the scrubby border of the pebbly shore. Evening approaches over Lake Nipigon, and the sky, the color of a beaver’s tooth, burns at the edge of the horizon in the last rays of the sun.
Why did she not want me? The question shadows every other thought in my mind and wounds my soul.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“Their softness stuns me. I press my lips to hers, and we test new waters together. A kiss. A tilt and turn of the head. A release. Deeper this time. She captures my eyes once more before we dive into the depths of our mouths, sharing the mutual fire we hold for one another.
We slow, release, and breathe. My air exchanged with hers.

“Come back to me, Niin-mawin, or you will have another woman crying for you.”

“I will,” I promise.

Her words have made me think of a scenario I hadn’t thought of before: Maybe Maang-ikwe didn’t want to give me up.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“I imagined her taller.

My mother stands in front of me. She leans more of her slight weight
on her right leg. A hide pack rests against her back. The long skirt she wears touches almost to the ground; its fringe brushes the blades of green grass. A plentiful, red, calico blouse adorns the top of her body. It flounces out around her waist and makes her appear smaller, child- like. Her black, shiny braid of hair ropes around her shoulder. One small streak of silver hides in its weave. Her eyes meet mine. I don’t move, and neither does she. She has the blackest eyes I’ve ever seen.

Crow black.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“I press her small hand between my large ones and linger a moment
before I let her go. I walk back to town somewhat deflated. Nothing was as I had expected, but, then, most of life usually takes one by surprise.”
Jenny Knipfer, Harvest Moon
“Accusations cropped up in her thoughts. I should have checked on him before; I should have known something was wrong; I should have taken better care of him!!
Beryl nestled her lips close to the tender spot behind Lyle’s ear and kissed him. She breathed in the scent of him—powdery and soft, like the promise of spring rain—and keened quietly into the crook of his neck.”
Jenny Knipfer, In a Grove of Maples
“Did you name your little one?”
“Yes. Lyle.”
It felt good saying his name to another person. When people are remembered, they don’t truly pass away. A portion of them remains.
The thought gave comfort to Beryl.”
Jenny Knipfer, In a Grove of Maples
“She collapsed on the floor in a fit of tears
and sobbed until no more came.
This is the end, then, she calculated.
She would sell and go back home where she belonged. Life
in Wisconsin had beaten them, and she surrendered with nothing but scars to show for it.”
Jenny Knipfer, In a Grove of Maples
“Cedric’s deep brown eyes looked almost black in the low light.
“Beryl . . .” He paused and held her gaze until she looked away. “Take care of yourself. I worry about you out here all alone.”
The words I want Edward to say, Beryl realized.
She wanted to know that Edward really cared, hadn’t wanted to go, and worried about her. Instead, his cousin had spoken what he should have.”
Jenny Knipfer, In a Grove of Maples
“His blue eyes were saying something Beryl had been wanting to hear—Edward needed her.
She reached out and touched the growing hair on his jaw. He had decided to let his beard grow over the cold months. He placed his hand over hers, and turning it slowly over, he kissed her wrist.
The sensation of his lips on her skin made Beryl’s knees feel weak. Good thing I’m sitting.”
Jenny Knipfer, In a Grove of Maples
“The baby’s bluish, hazel eyes looked into Jenay’s amber ones, and it was love at first sight. If there is any magic in this world, at this moment is where it can be found, the mystic thought lodged itself in Jenay’s heart as her eyes poured over her child with love. She had never felt herself so instantly and utterly connected to another person.”
Jenny Knipfer, Ruby Moon
“Her eyes fluttered closed for a moment. Next, Edward’s lips touched hers, feather light at first. She kissed him back. It took only seconds for them to kiss each other with a hunger that spoke of more than nourishment. Beryl’s heart raced as Edward peeled back her collar and unbuttoned the first few buttons of her shirtwaist. She sat there with her eyes closed in a trance as his lips touched the hollow of her neck. All sound vanished except the beating of her heart in her ears.”
Jenny Knipfer, In a Grove of Maples
“She thought how different life might have been for her if Edward hadn’t grown up a farmer’s son. She might have lived in town in a fine house like Cedric’s. But is that what I would want?
Some days, the farming life appealed to her: the fresh air, tending growing things, taking care of the animals. Other days, it morphed into little more than drudgery. And now, being alone. Well, she could do without that. It was not what she had agreed to.”
Jenny Knipfer, In a Grove of Maples
“We’re better at looking back than forward. Since such is the case, our eyes would be better placed at the base of our heads. I see nothing when I gaze into the future. It appears like the purple haze of the distant hills—without definition, lacking firm, clean, and distinctive lines. In a word—smudged.”
Jenny Knipfer, On Bur Oak Ridge
“My hate can kill a man. And it has.
To look at me, you wouldn’t think it. You couldn’t tell that a brief fire as evil as hell burned within me, eating me up until I was nothing more than a plan of destruction with legs. I’m nothing: tall, slim, and dull. I'm just a skinny reject who’s lost everything, but it’s my own fault and perhaps, partially, Mother’s, fool that she was.”
Jenny Knipfer, On Bur Oak Ridge
“I see him, but I can’t move. I stand rooted in place like a tree with my arms outstretched.
“Momma!” he giggles with glee, and he runs toward me, dangerously close to the vat of boiling water.
Water vapor rises from the vat and hangs suspended in the air in a slow, surreal way. Some soap bubbles float large and free, growing until they burst, appearing like a shimmer of glitter around the halo of Lonny’s blond ringlets.
My frozen-in-place arms strain to rescue him, but they are immovable. I’m helpless to prevent what’s coming next—”
Jenny Knipfer, On Bur Oak Ridge
“I fear my heart will be forever tied to what I can’t have. The word “home” once meant everything good to me: safety, warmth, love. Now, however, I have no home. It was ripped from me by the devious dealings of Mr. Alfred Skaggs.”
Jenny Knipfer, On Bur Oak Ridge
“Edward read through his words again before sealing them up in an envelope. There were other words he wanted to say, but he didn’t know how. How could he tell Beryl that he missed the color of her eyes at night, her laugh when he made a joke, and even her chiding? Those were things he couldn’t write in a letter. He didn’t consider himself a romantic, and Beryl had known that when she had married him. June seemed like such a long time back to Edward, much longer than six months ago.”
Jenny Knipfer, In a Grove of Maples
“The warm vapor of breath from her lungs steams out and blends with mine in the chill October air, before it dissipates. But another cloud of our combined breath replaces it quickly.
She appears to cling to the moment as much as I do; we are a foot away from each other, starched in place and reluctant to move. Our eyes meet. We hold each other’s appraisal a few more seconds, before Molly jerks her head to the side and slightly turns her body from me at an angle.
What will it take for her to be comfortable in my presence?”
Jenny Knipfer, On Bur Oak Ridge

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In a Grove of Maples (Sheltering Trees #1) In a Grove of Maples
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