Sunday, August 2, 2015

Maud's Line by Margaret Verble

Opening Paragraph:  Maud was bent over one row suckering tomato plants and Lovely was bent over the next one. They were talking about a girl Lovely had his eyes set on. But a cow's bawling interrupted that. Maud unfolded and looked toward the river. Lovely did the same. The bawling was loud, unnatural, and awful, and it set them to running. They ran first toward the house, not toward the sound, because neither had taken a gun to the garden. Maud stopped on the steps; Lovely rushed in for their rifles. Armed up and not bothering to talk, they both ran straight toward the pump to get to the pasture below the ridge where the howling was coming from...


A debut novel chronicling the life and loves of a headstrong, earthy, and magnetic heroine

Eastern Oklahoma, 1928. Eighteen-year-old Maud Nail lives with her rogue father and sensitive brother on one of the allotments parceled out by the U.S. Government to the Cherokees when their land was confiscated for Oklahoma’s statehood. Maud’s days are filled with hard work and simple pleasures, but often marked by violence and tragedy, a fact that she accepts with determined practicality. Her prospects for a better life are slim, but when a newcomer with good looks and books rides down her section line, she takes notice. Soon she finds herself facing a series of high-stakes decisions that will determine her future and those of her loved ones.

Maud’s Line is accessible, sensuous, and vivid. It will sit on the bookshelf alongside novels by Jim Harrison, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and other beloved chroniclers of the American West and its people.

Review by Mirella Patzer
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Maud's line is a tale about the author's own family. The story is set in beautiful Oklahoma, and delves into the culture of the First People of the land and the settlers of the era. The story includes all the expected hardships: hazards, dangers, illnesses - mental and physical, and the violence of the wild American west. The writing is simple to fall into and the story has many fascinating characters. Unfortunately, the heroine, Maud, came across as selfish and prone to foolish decisions. Nevertheless, the story is a portrait of the times and a good history of Oklahoma. 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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