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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: The Dividing Season by Karen Casey Fitzjerrell

The Dividing SeasonThe Dividing Season by Karen Casey Fitzjerrell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is about my bone-country: the land where my ancestors have lived, died, and are buried. So I would know if it were not an authentic tale. Believe me. It is.

Ms. Casey's prose sets you directly into landscape, weather, and sky you can see and feel. I think she must have sat a whole year on her porch observing. That's how enjoyable, distinct and palpably different each scene is from the next.

Though this book is set in the late 1800's,I know I have met and rubbed elbows with the gritty characters she creates, Texas men I love and hate, the kind of men whose stock carries on despite this unforgiving land and the working of it.

The heroine, a formidable, passionate woman, faces her inheritance and her fate with graceful power, loving the land and longing for more. Alongside her character the reader experiences intense adventure and faces conflicts and questions of family loyalty; propriety; women's rights; the right to bear arms; discrimination and prejudice; and the ever-present dig of a rancher's heels into the land, insisting, demanding from it, a decent living made from sweat and sheer will.

This author has a sweet and sour taste in her mouth for all that Texas women are and she has told us the truth about how we became so in eloquent prose.

You'll need a porch and a nice long stretch of afternoon to read this delightful story because you won't want to put it down.

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