July 16th, 2018

Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Reads & Reviews...

Well, something like that.   The last time I mentioned it, I was reading something called Booth by Timothy David Jones.  He's the local indie author who had a Northwest Author Night at the Well-Read Moose at the same time I did last month.  Well I've finished his story and have started on The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich.  Its one of those I claimed as a prize as meetings of Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers.  Currently estimate I'm roughly on third the way through it.  At this point I can say it is a very compelling and interesting story, extremely well written.

Realized a while ago that I am once again falling behind in writing reviews.  Counting my current read I'd have four reviews to write, but I managed to lessen that slightly this afternoon.  I've written a review of Beth Camp's Rivers of Stone which I read a couple of months ago.  Besides posting it here, my review has been added to the combined reviews for it on the SASP web-site review page and I've also posted it on my web-site.  (Go to the "other" page and scroll way down to the bottom!)  Additionally it has been posted to Amazon.

So, here is my review of...
Rivers of Stone

By Beth Camp

Reviewed By D. Andrew McChesney

        In Scotland, in the first half of the nineteenth century, countless farmers were forced off their land so wealthy landowners could devote the countryside to pasturing sheep.  As a result of this forced upheaval, Catriona McDonnell, her husband Dougal, and his brother Colin hire on with the Hudson’s Bay Company.  Known as Cat, she disguises herself as a boy and pretends to be a third brother.
        Once arriving at York Factory on the icy shores of Hudson’s Bay, she is soon put to work as a clerk in the trading post.  Soon Dougal is sent to Fort Vancouver while she is forced to remain behind.  Not only must she cope with her husband being away, she must maintain her identity as a boy, lest she be sent back to Britain.  This then is the story of her trials over the next several years.  During this time she makes friends, enemies, and nearly gives up hope of ever being reunited with Dougal.  
        Extremely well written, Rivers of Stone excels in authentic detail of the time.  The suspense as Cat maintains her masquerade and her longing for Dougal continues at a high level throughout the story. Also notable is her willingness to make friends with, and to be friended by those of other origins, including members of the Cree Nation.
        This is an entertaining, informative, and absorbing read.  It is Book Three in the story of The McDonnell Clan, but it need not be read in sequence with the first two volumes.  It is truly a stand-alone work, and its quality should convince readers they need to read the other stories in the series as well.