Thursday, August 12, 2010

Come Green Grass

Title: Come Green Grass
Author: Maxine Isackson
Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-58749-662-2
Genre: {M/F} Historical Western
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Still grieving the loss of her parents, Leah Clayborn heads to Horse Flatts, Nebraska to stay with her only remaining family. Leah had found it strange that her Uncle Simon never visited her while she was growing up in Ohio but is eternally grateful for allowing her to stay with him on his cattle ranch now that she has no one else. She sets out to Nebraska with no idea what to expect but if the welcome from Ty Worth, a friend of uncle Simon’s who is waiting for her at the station after her long journey, is anything to go by, she has her work cut out for her. It is quite apparent that Uncle Simon and his men aren’t expecting much from her at all; there isn’t much work or entertainment for woman folk around these parts, especially someone from Leah’s upbringing. However as soon as she sees the amazing surroundings, she starts to feel the spirit of this way of life grab hold of her. Leah has never left the safely of her home or the warmth and protection of her family until now, so why can’t she shake the feeling that it is only now, at the tender age of 17, that she is finally coming home?

Come Green Grass is the prequel to Maxine Isakson’s fantastic novel Prairie Wind and serves as Leah’s introduction to ranch life. Set in 1894, the descriptive, detailed language transported me back to a world that, at times, seemed genteel and romantic, yet extremely stark and harsh at others. Leah soon learns that life depended on the seasons. The need for rain and the desperation when it doesn’t come is especially poignant. This is my favorite genre and nothing is spared a mention here. From the clothing and the food to the horses and architecture, my image of Leah and her surroundings was complete. I could sense the vast space in between dwellings and the hard work that went into even the smallest actions. The knowledge and research into the period is a credit to the author.

Ever since I was first introduced to Leah, I have known she is a character of true grit and determination. Her development through trauma and pain, while still keeping a youthful optimism, is wonderful to read and I couldn’t help but want her to succeed at anything and everything she set her mind to. The dialog between her and Uncle Simon, a fair man who keeps his emotions in check and who fully believes that actions speak volumes, rings true. The evolution of their relationship has a special quality to it that shows plenty of time and love has been invested by the author. The relationship between Leah and Ty is very subtle and suitably paced but perhaps it is just the romantic in me that can’t help but wish for a more obvious display of emotion. However, with the knowledge of the contents of the sequel, I concede to this being the right approach to things. If you like a sweeping, dramatic tale with amazing characters and a plot that has plenty of twists and turns, I highly recommend Come Green Grass.

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