Overall, we really liked this, finding it historically quite interesting, surprisingly evocative and occasionally sensual. We really liked the way she wrote, how she would give you a taste of a scene, but leave you hanging, wanting more. This could be a little frustrating at times, not all of us were happy with the ending, but overall it was used to good effect.
The setting may have been the start of the book, but the characters were very intriguing, too. We loved Joe, and how people got absorbed into him. How Esther writes letters to her dear departed mother, and how healing that must have been. And the love story between Esther and Ben had a nice pacing, and sweetness...and was a bit sexy, if barely exposed. We felt the real villain of the story was Violet...the nerve of that woman reading other people's mail...and even worst holding it back or sharing it with others.
There was so much room for escalation in the story, but it rarely reached the heights it could have...making it feel more realistic, and keeping an underlying intensity that moved the story forward most pleasantly.
Last but not least, we loved the term "buckaroos", which made us smile over and over again.
Our meal was, as usually, nicely balanced and delicious.
Katie S. - grilled lamb and zucchini.
Barbara - cornbread muffins
Sunny - salad and sauerkraut
Laura - cranberry swirl coffee cake
And last but not least, we had potatoes from our guest! We think her name was Susan?
Next month (week) we are discussing Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown. There is only one copy left at Sno-Isle, but nearby library systems also own it!
See you soon...