October 4th at 10am at the store
The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton.
From the internationally bestselling author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, a heartfelt coming-of-age story that Karen Joy Fowler calls “a timeless classic … a book you will read and reread.”
Mary Frances “Frankie” Lombard is fiercely in love with her family’s sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it. Content to spend her days planning capers with her brother William, competing with her brainy cousin Amanda, and expertly tending the orchard with her father, Frankie desires nothing more than for the rhythm of life to continue undisturbed. But she cannot help being haunted by the historical fact that some family members end up staying on the farm and others must leave. Change is inevitable, and threats of urbanization, disinheritance, and college applications shake the foundation of Frankie’s roots. As Frankie is forced to shed her childhood fantasies and face the possibility of losing the idyllic future she had envisioned for her family, she must decide whether loving something means clinging tightly or letting go.
Thursday Morning Newcomers
September 21st at 10am at the store
(the coffee will be on!)
News of the World by Paulette Jiles.
In the aftermath of the American Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this morally complex, multi-layered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.
In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.
Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.
Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.
Thursday Evening Group
September 28th at 7pm at the store
The Wooden Indian Resurrection by Trish Hermanson.
Three girlfriends. One betrayal. Three decades of bitterness. Then one unforgettable showdown that changes everything.
“A poignant reminder that we must face – not run from – our deepest fears.” Jean Snedegar, reporter/producer, BBC Radio and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
Deborah Running Bear’s spirit is as dead as the wooden Indian she impersonates at work. Desperate to come alive, she sets her face like flint to confront white girlfriends whose betrayal in high school sent her life spiraling down. But will a confrontation heal past wounds?
She’s always running. Hiding. Festering with bitterness from the stab-in-the-back that led to her arrest and exile from the community that once offered her prestige and a doorway into college. It was 1968, and Deborah had “gone white,” embracing a Norwegian-Lutheran town and its high school bubble of Beatles, basketball, and boys. But underneath the glow of her senior year, tensions simmered, leaving her with unanswered questions that haunted her for years. Why did townsfolk cast suspicious eyes her way after race riots broke out following the assassination of Martin Luther King? Why did the town toss her out? And the most troubling question, what happened to her white boyfriend? Did he return from Vietnam in a body bag?
After being forced from the community, Deborah turns her back on white culture, marries a Native, and becomes an activist in the American Indian Movement. But the siege of the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, leaves her a widow and single mother. By Deborah’s accounting, her life is a waste: a dead husband, dead relationships with her elderly father and her grown son, and a dead-end job as a wooden Indian.
After years of hiding, she’s discovered by her former white girlfriends. Inflamed with anger that they found her, and hoping to heal from past wounds, she confronts them at a historic cavalry fort in the Midwest. But will facing enemies set her free from her shut-down life, or will secrets revealed lead to more pain? Must she tread the trail of forgiveness to find life’s second chances, or could she be deceived again?
Deborah’s search for wholeness is a journey of coming of age in middle age. Of experiencing it’s never too late to become who you’re meant to be. And of discovering she can love passionately again.
Trish Hermanson writes about racial outsiders with the sensitivity of Jamie Ford and Sue Monk Kidd. Like William Kent Krueger, she crafts vivid settings through careful period detail. Prior to publication, the story captured awards from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Pikes Peak Writers. Although it confronts the ugliness of racism, it pays on the promise of the triumph of the human spirit and a feel-good ending.
“Just as the wounding of one affects us all, so does the healing of one. That’s a story we need to hear.” – Patrick Dorn – Denver arts critic, playwright, and author.
“An epic drama set within themes that make Dakota ‘Dakota.’ A delicious read.” – Thomas A. Dempster, former South Dakota State Senator, and author of North of Twelfth Street: The Changing Face of Sioux Falls Neighborhoods.
**NEW MEMBERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!