Friday, April 20, 2012

The Wide Horizon (MG)

The Wide Horizon. Loula Grace Erdman. 1956/2007. Bethlehem Books. 279 pages.

Katie Pierce was sure she must be the luckiest girl in the whole Panhandle of Texas. Luckier even than her older sister Melinda who, after five years of waiting, was going to marry Dennis Kennedy in June and go with him to live in Amarillo. Dennis was a real doctor now, driving around the town and the surrounding country, looking after sick folks. 

The Wide Horizon is my favorite, favorite, favorite book in Loula Grace Erdman's Texas Panhandle trilogy. (It might have something to do with the fact that I read it a dozen times as a child. I never got a chance to read the first or last book in this series.)

The narrator is Katie Pierce. She's excited because she's not only going to be singing at her sister's wedding, she'll be a bridesmaid too. And then that fall, she'll be going back to East Texas to live with her grandmother and attend a fancy academy for young ladies. But except for the singing, nothing quite goes like plan. For on the day of a wedding, a stranger-soon-not-to-be-a-stranger, Bryan Cartwright, interrupts bringing Dr. Kennedy urgent news. He must leave the wedding ceremony so he can see one of his patients. (The ceremony continues when he returns.) The other unexpected news of the summer is that Katie won't be going away after all. Her grandmother has fallen and broken her hip. Katie's mom will be going to nurse her back to health. Katie is needed right where she is. She'll need to take care of her brothers and younger sister. Katie will have to learn fast how to fill her mother's place on the farm! And it's quite a learning experience. The chapter on cooking beans was hilarious!

There were so many things I loved about this one!

Read The Wide Horizon
  • If you enjoy historical fiction, if you enjoy pioneer stories with a "Little House" feel
  • If you like stories with blizzards in them! (Katie finds herself responsible for caring for the children left behind at the school)
  • If you like coming-of-age stories
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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