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Most of this powerful story takes place after World War I on the Plains of Nebraska. It?s a story about families and family relationships. Letty Pringle comes from a family of evangelical zealots who preach forgiveness but don?t use it themselves.
Letty is 15 and Mike is 17; they promise their wedding vows and swear they will always love each other. Because times are hard and money is scarce, Mike leaves Letty to earn money so they can marry. Unfortunately, Letty finds she is pregnant soon after Mike leaves.
Cora, her sister, seems to hate Letty and tells their parents about Letty?s condition. The family immediately rants that she has ruined them and her father tells her to leave ? she is dead to them. Because Preacher Pringle is so vindictive (he would discourage people from doing business with Mike?s family, who have many mouths to feed), Letty cannot go to Mike?s family for help.
With few options, she decides to go to her maternal grandparents? home and beg them to accept her. Letty learns about love within the family from her grandparents. Although their lives are simple and plain, Letty realizes this is the life she wants to lead.
Mostly, the ?bad guys? have no redeeming values. However, we do see that one of the secondary villains experiences a change of heart. There is a murder and plenty of sadness in this tale; 4 stars.
1. Ribbon in the Sky (1991)
2. With Hope (1998)
3. With Song (1999)
4. With Heart (1999)
5. After the Parade (2000)
Publishers Weekly, 1991-11-01 Garlock's ( Homeplace ) trite, cliche-ridden tale is set in the years before and after World War I. When 15-year-old Letty Pringle becomes pregnant, her father, a hypocritical evangelical minister, beats her and orders her to ``take your hot little twat and leave my house.'' Her lover,stet comma Mike Dolan, has left home to find work so that he can marry Letty, not knowing she is pregnant. Mike returns to hear that Letty is dead--her father having publicly announced her demise--and enlists to fight in the warp. 58 . In fact, Letty has taken refuge on her grandparents' Nebraska farm, convinced that Mike has abandoned her. When he appears at the farm after five years determined to ``devote the rest of his life making it up to her,'' Letty doesn't want to hear about it. However, Letty's wise, old Grandpa Jacob, along with her and Mike's son, Patrick,stet commas and Helen, a child fostered out to Letty's care, give the determined lover a place in their hearts. But just as things are about to work out for Mike and Letty, some cartoonlike villains--Helen's drunken, child-molesting father, a sheriff's deputy turned bootlegger and Letty's Bible-thumping family--all threaten their newfound happiness. (Dec.)
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