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The Able McLaughlins (The McLaughlins, #1)
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. Week 45: In Your Hometown > The Able McLaughlin's by Margaret Wilson

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Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 307 comments The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson

Well, my small town does not have a book set in it, unless I wanted to reread the town's history (once was enough, thank you). So I had to take a 10,000 foot view of this week and had to look at the entire state of Iowa for this one. I found two books that interested me, and could not pick just one.

The second book I picked for this week is The Able McLaughlins. This book is supposed to be set during the Civil War. I've heard great things about the book and am really interested in seeing what all the fuss is about. Admittedly I nearly gave up on this one because it was surprisingly very difficult to get my hands on a copy. I had to go online to find it, and the first several places I found it would not ship to Alaska. #AlaskaProbs Anyway, I feel like the struggle to get this book is mainly what's driving me to read this one now.

Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 307 comments WOW! Really, WOW! I started this book with a bit of struggle and force to push through it (it takes a lot for me to give up on a book). Through the first couple of chapters I'm sitting there trying to figure out what is going on. I start reading reviews of the book (something I don't typically do until I've finished it), and it's all over the place. Some people loved it, and others detested it, wondering how this managed to win a Pulitzer. Well, I kept pushing through. I am so happy I did. I story that is contained in these pages is beautiful and heartfelt.

The low-down: Wully is a soldier who has just returned from fighting for the Union in the Civil War. He comes back to his family's small Scottish community in Iowa to find the woman he vowed to marry, distant and depressed. Everyone assumes it is because her mother recently passed away and she is struggling with her grief. We later find out that Christie is hiding a traumatizing secret that nobody knows. Wully quickly discovers this and is set on marrying Christie anyway, knowing that his family's reputation will be slandered because of this. Wully does not care. he loves Christie and will do anything to protect her.

This book is very well written, if you can stand flowery prose. Wilson did a great job of writing about a very difficult and sensitive subject matter. The characters are great and you found yourself rooting for mos of them to have their happy ending and a happy life.

Though this book was written in 1923, and is set in the 1860s, it is very reflective of current day, small farming community, Iowa. Everything moves a bit slower there, people take care of each other, and the amount of gossip makes you want to beat your head on a table.

5 stars!

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