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May 25, 2007 Edition
These beautiful and emotionally acute love stories embody all kinds of relationships, from parent-child to sibling to lover, and range in time from World War I to the present day. In “The Queen of Sheba is Afraid of Snow,” a young girl seeks shelter with the cult that encouraged her mother to abandon her, only to be coldly ejected (but perhaps regain her mother). And in “Stumble,” Frank watches helplessly as his unwitting sister attracts all the wrong attention and makes decisions that lead her step by step into prostitution. Scott has a way of capturing the small moments that make so much difference in the course of our lives.
Fans of Tony Hillerman and Nevada Barr will enjoy this new mystery series featuring a Land Management Agent stationed on the Tanoah Pueblo Reservation. Jamaica is summoned onto reservation land during Quiet Time, when outsiders are banned. She finds the son of a friend in the midst of a milling buffalo herd, and though she tries to rescue him before the herd stampedes, she fails. Her presence as an outsider is blamed for Jerome’s death, but she knows there is something deeper going on. Accompanied by the wolf cub she is raising, she begins an investigation to clear her name and find the truth.
Kittredge’s first novel (he’s written an autobiography and many short stories and essays, all set in the American West) follows Rossie Benasco as he leaves his parents’ home at the age of 15 to be a “wrango” boy. When he and the ranch owner’s daughter get too friendly, Rossie is given a choice: either settle down for the long haul and marry Mattie, or else head out on a thousand-mile horse drive through the Rockies and into Montana. When Rossie reaches the end of the trail, he meets Eliza, a free-spirited and pregnant young woman who captivates his heart. By the end of his life, he’s married Eliza, and become a successful politician, and father. He’s been shot by friendly fire while in the Marines during World War II, and again by a crank upset by his politics. And through everything, he’s remained true to his horseman’s heart.
What was once a high school summer job for Henry Powell has become his life: except for a brief, glorious stint at college, he’s worked at the same men’s clothing store since his father called him home from college. He’s making the best of an impossible situation, trying to atone for a mistake made more than two decades before by taking care of his alcoholic and increasingly incompetent mother and trying to make his father happy. Full of flashbacks to Henry’s earlier years as a confused child, a sudden football star, and a middle son, this is a look at a young life dutifully lived with hope coming up around the bend.
This thriller from long-time Washington insider Clarke presents our dependency on technology as our Achilles’ heel. Terrorists set out to bring the United States down by severing key links that keep the internet working. The characters are thin, and exist to introduce the amazing (but not farfetched) technology and to underscore exactly how poorly we understand what we have so readily integrated into our lives. Fascinating, thought-provoking, and alarming.
This is the latest in the mystery series featuring Episcopal minister Clare Fergusson and Police chief Russ Van Alstyne. This time, it is Russ’s wife who is the victim – a neighbor has found her gruesomely murdered in her kitchen, and Russ is the prime suspect. Everyone in their small town suspects that he had an affair with Clare, and they know that his wife kicked him out recently. Now, he’s under pressure to prove that it wasn’t him, but he’s hampered by his status as suspect. Despite her promises to her superiors, Clare decides to do everything she can to clear Russ’s name.