The Grelliers and the Schapens are two families who have been farming in the Kaw River Valley for over a hundred and fifty years, their lives connected through the generations by history and geography. Gina Haring, bringing with her the liberal air of the big city, moves into a dilapidated house near both families' properties. Gina has secrets, ...
The Grelliers and the Schapens are two families who have been farming in the Kaw River Valley for over a hundred and fifty years, their lives connected through the generations by history and geography. Gina Haring, bringing with her the liberal air of the big city, moves into a dilapidated house near both families' properties. Gina has secrets, her own reasons for being in the Kansas countryside, and they're not necessarily what the people around her imagine. Susan's involvement with her stirs up the wrath of the Schapen clan -- and has cataclysmic results for her own family.
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Ms. Paretsky sweeps us up in this story of a family struggling to make a living on a farm in Kansas while the war in Iraq plays in the background. How much strain and grief can one man or woman take, day after day? And how long does it take to fight back up from the depths of despair? The author asks and answers these questions with real characters, characters we would all like to meet and help if we could.
Excellent reading! Different from the author's mysteries but just as compelling!!
Dec 10, 2009
A good read
As always Paretsky satisfies. This is not her usual format but I recommend it, very interesting book.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-02-25 Paretsky takes a break from the mystery genre with this powerful, emotionally genuine tale about the ties of love, family and religious belief in a rural Kansas community. The history of the Schapens, Grelliers and Freemantles in the Kaw River Valley dates back to the mid-19th century, but time, old grudges and religious differences have eroded the bonds of friendship. When John Freemantle's niece moves back to Douglas County, her Wiccan rituals and antiwar activism cause controversy and indirectly inspire teenager Chip Grellier to enlist in the army. After Chip's death in Iraq, the Grellier family begins falling apart. Meanwhile, the fortunes of the Schapens, devout fundamentalist Christians, rise with the emergence of an apparently perfect red heifer, the sacrifice crucial to the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem and the Second Coming of Jesus. This audio's power is in its richly evoked characters, and Susan Ericksen's expressive, sympathetic voice partners perfectly with Paretsky's text. She distinctively voices men, women and teenagers with careful shifts in pitch, inflection and accent. In the end, listeners will be both satisfied by the realistic, uplifting ending and bereft at having to say good-bye to Paretsky's painfully real Kansans. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 15). (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2007-10-15 Bestseller Paretsky, who has tackled weighty issues in her V.I. Warshawski detective series (e.g., the Holocaust in Total Recall), weaves a gripping contemporary novel around three farm families-the Grelliers, Fremantles and Schapens-that can trace their Kaw Valley, Kans., roots back to the 1850s, a time of violent clashes between antislavery and proslavery forces in "Bleeding Kansas." Their shared history is no buffer against the storm of changes that begin with the arrival of Gina Haring, a lesbian Wiccan. Chip Grellier, after being expelled from high school, enlists in the army and is killed in Iraq with devastating effects on his family. The Schapens' fundamentalist doctrines come to the fore when they discover "a perfect red heifer" in their dairy herd that may be a path to riches as well as to the second coming. Meanwhile, Gina stirs prejudices and passions to a fever pitch. Paretsky taps a different vein and strikes gold in this timely tale of fear and conflict in heartland America. Author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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