The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (2012)
Tired of the Texas plains? Let this amazing first novel carry you away to the rich and magical wilderness of 1920’s Alaska where homesteaders find out if they are strong enough to survive the back breaking work and fearsome territory. Jack and Mabel are sadly childless and have fled their comfortable but disappointing life in Pennsylvania and find that when they open their hearts to all possibilities their dreams may come true. Or are they deceiving themselves? Are they beginning to live a fairy tale life or are they victims of their desperate desires? Inspired by a traditional folk tale this wonderful novel is a mix of surprising magic and realistic struggles in an extraordinary setting. Enjoy this novel with a cup of steaming hot chocolate and your furry dog at your feet on a long fall Saturday. Highly recommended!
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
If you read Cold Mountain, winner of the National Book Award, or saw the movie, you were introduced to the writing style of Charles Frazier.
In Thirteen Moons, Mr Frazier exceeds what he accomplished in Cold Mountain with his character portrayal and perfect time and period tale told agains the background of Indian resettlement in America.
An orphan named Will Cooper, at the age of 12, is given a horse, a key, and a map and then sent on a journey through the uncharted wilderness of the Cherokee Nation. The story takes place in the era of the Trail of Tears, the name given to the "voluntary resettling" of many indian tribes from the American Southeast to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
Will is a bound boy, obliged to run a remote Indian trading post. As he learns to do business in this lonely outpost, he finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief; and is adopted by him and his people. This relationship ultimately helps to forge Will’s character and make him an advocate for the Cherokee people.
He meets Claire, the enigmatic and captivating charge of volatile and powerful Featherstone, and unwittingly gives his heart up to her. In a voice filled with both humor and yearning, Will tells of a lifelong search for home, the hunger for fortune and adventure, the rebuilding of a trampled culture, and above all an enduring pursuit of passion.
Will Cooper's story is brought to vivid life by the voice of Will Patton in the audio version of Thirteen Moons: it was one of the best read audio books of my listening life. A. Adams