Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Good Land

The Good Land. Loula Grace Erdman. 1959/2007. Bethlehem Books. 185 pages.

First sentence: Carolyn Pierce, pulling the white linen cloth straight on the long dining-room table, thought that perhaps the worst problem a girl could have was for people to think she didn't have any at all. 

Premise/plot: Carolyn Pierce is the "baby" of her family. She is the youngest of three sisters. Her older sisters are Melinda and Katie. Melinda has happily been married for at least five or six years to a doctor--Dennis Kennedy. They have a little girl, Kathleen. Katie has returned from her schooling back East. If things go Katie's way, she'll soon be MRS. Bryan Cartwright. (But will they?)

Carolyn will not go back East for high school, BUT, she will be going to Amarillo for high school. She'll live with her sister and brother-in-law. The thought both thrills and scares her. There is only one person that she knows that has gone to high school in Amarillo, a certain Jim Foster who is a few years older.

The Good Land is mainly about Carolyn's quest to make and keep friends. It is set in the Texas Panhandle at the turn of the twentieth century. (I'm guessing sometime between 1904 and 1910).

My thoughts: I have enjoyed rereading all three books in this historical series written for children. It is a frustrating love for me, however, because it leaves me ever wanting more, more, more. Each book is set when the heroine is fifteen. Each book covers just a few months of time. We get such short snapshots of this family's life.

I would have loved to see Carolyn settled in Amarillo. I would have loved to go with her to high school. To see what that experience was like. I would have loved to see her relationships with her sister, Melinda, and her niece, Kathleen. Instead, readers spend a few weeks with Carolyn as she prepares to leave her family. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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