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Prairie Fever

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  387 ratings  ·  101 reviews
"Michael Parker has captured a time, place, and sisterhood so perfectly it hurts to turn the last page. A riveting, atmospheric dream of a novel.” --Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos 

Set in the hardscrabble landscape of early 1900s Oklahoma, but timeless in its sensibility, Prairie Fever traces the intense dynamic between the Stewart sisters: the pr
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Algonquin Books
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
“Time was an element that fell like snow from the sky. The sky was stitched together with safety pins, but sometimes the pins worked loose and out came the elements and one of them was time…People could not hear time. They could not hear wind and they could not recognize the true cries of others. They talked it over and heard only some great strange gargle. In the distance, like a coyote wind, it murmured, this muted lament of love and of time. Love and time fell from the sky like snow, or float ...more
Diane Barnes
Mar 20, 2019 marked it as don-t-want-to-finish
I was sent an advance copy of this by Algonquin Books for an honest review. I read 4 chapters and am too bored and unimpressed to go on. There are way too many great books waiting. No rating. DNF
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read Parker's short story collection Everything, Then and Since a couple of years ago and was astounded that I had not heard of this author before. And I'm still astounded that more don't seem to read him. However, when I picked up this book, I did not link it to the story collection. Perhaps his name is not distinctive enough. In any case, I struggled at the start with the way he uses language. He has his own rhythm. I began to skim, and I'm glad I did. Because I eventually became completely ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It would be easy enough to pigeonhole Prairie Fever into a familiar genre: “a tale of the harsh American frontier”, for example, or “the estrangement of two intimately connected sisters over the love of a man.”

But after settling into the rhythm and pull of Michael Parker’s story, which admittedly took me several pages, I quickly fell under its spell and bowed to its power. By the end of the book, I felt I had been sprinkled with prairie dust.

There are three main characters and entire chapters ar
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This great character-driven story was very hard to put down. I enjoyed every word of this book, and this beautiful and original historical fiction by Michael Parker really touched my heart deep into my core.

This will land in one of my favorite books of the year for the exquisite prose, unforgettable characters, and visually stunning Oklahoma prairie.
switterbug (Betsey)
Why had I never heard of Michael Parker before? PRAIRIE FEVER is one of the most fierce, fearless, open-hearted, and radiant novels written this century, about the earlier part of the last one. It takes place primarily in the rural prairie stretch of Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, the 1920s, where the “coyote wind” is icy and menacing, and the hardscrabble land is punishing, unforgiving. The wordsmith author writes about love, land, language, loyalty, and two sisters bound together, even when apart. It wa ...more
Sharon Huether
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sisters
"SOILER ALERT' Lone Wolf, Oklahoma 1917
Elise and her sister Lorena attended a one room school. They traveled to school in a horse cart pulled by Sandy, Elise's horse.

Their teacher Mr. McQueen was not much older than the sisters. They both had their eye on Mr. McQueen.

Poor Sandy met his demise due to freezing temperatures. Elise lost a finger and four toes. Elise would write letters telling about Sandy's adventures in the sky and joining the circus.

Since both sisters were in love with their teach
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was hard for me because I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and it was difficult to read because I didn’t have any idea what the story was about.
It’s hard to give a rating. It’s not a DNF.
Mary Lins
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
“Prairie Fever”, by Michael Parker, has ALL THE THINGS you could want in a novel; it’s historically interesting, has a simple but compelling plot spanning 30 years, unique characters who stick with you, romance, poignancy, humor, and a captivating story-telling style. I was fortunate to have this novel with me on a long trans-Atlantic flight, and it was so engrossing and entertaining that the monotony and discomfort melted away as I became enamored with and enmeshed in, the town of Lone Wolf, Ok ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Although the description on the book jacket had me intrigued, I had a hard time getting into the rhythm of the narrative. The book's structure and dialogue seemed modern -- a discordant juxtaposition with its historical early 1900s setting. Others have liked it, so I'd encourage interested readers to take a look at more positive reviews if this seems like a book they'd enjoy.

Thank you to Algonquin Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
If you are looking for a book full of riveting adventure, this quiet story of two sisters in the 1900’s Oklahoma prairie who have a unique bond that comes completely unraveled because of a schoolteacher they both take a fancy to, is perhaps not the read for you.
If however you like a lyrically written character study containing a generous sprinkling of deadpan humor this is one you may enjoy.
Having been raised with mostly sisters, having mostly daughters, and then mostly granddaughters, I was a
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Algonquin for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Prairie Fever
By: Michael Parker

Michael Parker is a new to me author, so I didn't know what to expect from Prairie Fever. In Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, early 1900's, the story takes shape. The land is vast, harsh, desolate and unyielding, but two sisters find a sense of contentment despite their surroundings-reciting newspaper articles and riding to school together on their ho
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2019; Algonquin Books

Michael Parker's novel, Prairie Fever is beautifully written. His descriptions allow the reader to see the 1900s Oklahoma in this book as another character. The characters are also well written and realistic. I rated this novel three stars because I just could not get into the story itself. I am not a huge fan of love triangles, especially when it is sisters. I was not fan of any of the characters, but was invested in them because they were realistic and inter
Bonnie Brody
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is sure to make my top ten list for this year. Michael Parker has such an astute perception of human nature that the characters not only came alive for me while I was reading but I thought about them throughout the day until I finished the book, and afterwards.

The first 40 pages went slowly and I want to return to them now that I've finished the book. I think I'll understand them better. The book came alive for me after those pages. This story takes place on the great plains of the Un
August Schiess
Jul 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book sounded like I would like it, but I was bored from the beginning and after 50 pages it didn't change, so I stopped. Too many good books to read :) ...more
Cynthia Toohey
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prairie Fever is one of those quiet books that draws the reader in with lyrical, atmospheric prose. I loved every page of it. Set in the desolate outpost of Lone Wolf, Oklahoma in the early 1900's, the novel tells the story of the Stewart sisters, sensible Lorena and mercurial Elise. The sisters are inseparable...until the arrival of a new schoolteacher and a single impulsive decision that changes the trajectories of their lives.

While the plot is compelling, it is not the driving force behind t
Alyson Stone
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book: Prairie Fever
Author: Michael Parker
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Algonquin Books, for providing me with ARC.

I have honestly never heard of this book until the publisher reached out. I must say that it was kind of hard to get into a first, but once I got through the first chapter, I found myself really enjoying it. I love all of the feels I got and just how I was pulled in. Like I said, it wasn’t really until I got through the first chapter that I actually
Paige Green
Jun 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received an arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Prairie Fever

Author: Michael Parker

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended For...: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Recommended Age: 16+ (romance, sexual content, slight gore)

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Pages: 320

Synopsis: Set in the hardscrabble landscape of early 1900s Oklahoma, but timeless in its sensibility, Prairie Fever traces the intense dynamic between th
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
During the harsh winter of 1916 the Stewart sisters (Elise, 15, and Lorena, 17) ride their faithful horse to school no matter the weather. Their young teacher, Mr. McQueen, meets them and helps them off the horse and into the school room every day. The three are the central characters of the novel and we’ll see how their lives intertwine and go off in different directions according to the choices they make. I
Kim McGee
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Life is hard in the 1900's Oklahoma plains but you won't hear complaints from Elise and Lorena. They recite the local paper to bide their time pinned into a blanket on their trusty stead, Sandy who trudges off to school in weather that even the hardiest ranchers would cringe at. Elise possesses a rare wit while Lorena tries to be the model of decorum. The sisters are their own best friends until a young schoolteacher tears an unjumpable divide between them. This refreshing western does not read ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book by Michael Parker. It is the story of two sisters that live in a remote, cold place. They ride their horse to school with a blanket over their heads. The horse, Sandy, knows the way. Gus McGuire, the young teacher takes the blanket off of them when they get to the school barn. The sisters grow up and much more happens. I loved the dialect of the characters. It was a very subtlily funny book.
Loved this book so much--the setting is so richly drawn, and the characters completely realistic. I adored the relationship between the sisters, a sort of a historical, Okie, Gilmore Girls vibe, but completely in context to the period. Very moving with flashes of humor. One of my favorites this year.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is such an interesting book! But, not so easy to review. The short story is, I liked it. But, I can't leave my review at that, so here I go....

Prairie Fever is set in 1917 in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma. The story centers around two sisters, Lorena, (more serious, particular, enjoys correcting grammar) and Elise (imaginative, unusual, frequently recites newspaper quotes out of the blue) and new schoolteacher Gus McQueen, only 2 years Lorena's senior. One day Elise mounts her horse and leaves school
3.5 stars.
Definitely started off slow and then picked up, then slowed down again.

**Spoiler alert: I was so happy to see Lorena find someone better than that jerk Gus. She seemed to be truly happy with Isaac.
I was hoping to see some more drama happen when Gus was told he was going to have to pay back the loan for Lorena's school. Not to mention he ended up choosing the sister who was "touched" and I thought-cool. He is going to have to deal with that and he will get what he deserves. But he se
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review-copy
Review to come.
Joel Foster
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a North Carolinian, I'm always happy to find and read a fellow North Carolinian. Michael Parker is superb ...more
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Powerful writing and great characters in this lovely novel about love and yearning.
Mel Raschke
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Never heard of this author before. I will be reading more.
dnf NO RATING. Got to page 63 and just could not get into it. The conversations were too hard to follow and I wasn't connecting to the characters because of it. ...more
Abigail DeWitt
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of Michael Parker's work, and have long put If You Want Me To Stay in my top twenty books of all time, along with (among others) The Sound and the Fury, The Master and Margarita, The Known World, and Faces in the Water. With Prairie Fever, Parker may have outdone himself. The structure and plot of this strange, lyrical, unflinching, often wryly humorous, and deeply moving novel has been described by other reviewers here--and it's a brilliant structure and plot--so I will just add ...more
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MICHAEL PARKER is the author of five novels – Hello Down There, Towns Without Rivers, Virginia Lovers, If You Want Me To Stay, The Watery Part of the World and two collections of stories, The Geographical Cure and Don’t Make Me Stop Now. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various journals including Five Points, the Georgia Review, The Idaho Review, the Washington Post, the New York Times ...more

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