Thursday, April 3, 2014
Book Look: Olivia, Mourning
OLIVIA, MOURNING is part of a series.
The book begins at her dreary home where Olivia would rather stand outside in the cold than go in and be bossed around. She decides that she will take advantage of a loop hole in her uncle's will, which allows her to head north to Michigan to try to farm. She is a bookworm, who has only known city life. What chance does she have on the frontier?
Her saving grace is her friendship with the freed Negro, Mourning Free. He has grown up with Olivia, and he is willing to take his life somewhere else though they must be careful in a society of Jim Crow laws not to look like a couple.
Mourning knows so much more than Olivia about almost everything in life, from healing blisters to bargaining for oxen to meeting the neighbors. Olivia breaks down more than once, knowing she can not tame the land without the help of a man. The locals don't seem to care to make friends except one annoying couple and her late father's mistress.
Much of the book takes us through frontier life and hardships, which I enjoyed. The end of the book begins with a horrific attack. Olivia and Mourning: will they both survive? What will become of them if it's one without the other? Oh, there are so many obstacles to overcome even as they are victims of savagery. One star deducted for the sudden ending, which seems like a writer's ploy to get us to read the next book. However, these characters are so well developed and refreshingly individual, I am will to forgive Ms. Politis the cliff-hanger ending and get on with the next volume, because I have to know what the outcome it.
Reader's advice to author: Bring part of book 2 into the conclusion of 1 because this is a grand adventure, but no one wants to feel bushwhacked on the final page.