Monday, June 13, 2016

The High Divide: A Novel by Lin Enger

I first met Lin Enger a year or so ago when I listened to him speak at a book store in Park Rapids. I'd known his wife for a while, and was anxious to meet him and hear him in person!

Lin was kind enough to sign a book - which he actually gave us - and my husband read it right away and loved it. Then, there it sat in my pile of books for quite a long time. (Sorry, Lin!) Last week I picked it up...and I didn't put it down for three days!

First of all I have to say that I love reading books set in my area, so when towns in Minnesota and North Dakota were mentioned I felt like I was practically a character in the story. I also love historical fiction, and so many of the events in the story were closely tied to my knowledge of this region's history.

In the novel we meet Gretta Pope, who awakens one morning to find that her husband has left without a trace. The Pope's are a poor family, struggling to get by, and when Gretta's oldest son Eli sneaks off to find his father (followed closely by his younger brother, Danny), Gretta has no choice but to go off in search of them.

Little by little we learn about Ulysses Pope, and the secrets he has kept from his family. He is on a journey to find redemption, and it is only in the final chapters of the book that we learn whether the family will be able to find their way back together or not.

The book is beautifully written and totally captivating. The characters felt incredibly real, with raw and rich emotion. I believe that each story is a gift, and one this beautifully told is a treasure. Thank you, Lin, for sharing your gift with us!

Enjoy this video, where Lin shares his thoughts on the value of reading.

Intrusion: A Novel by Mary McCluskey

The story begins with Kat and her husband mourning the loss of their son, who was killed in an accident. Although her husband, Scott, is back at work, and appears to be dealing with the tragedy, Kat cannot move beyond her grief and can barely leave the house. In fact, Kat is having such a difficult time coping that she has considered (and even planned for) ways to commit suicide.

Kat's sister and husband are supportive and encouraging, but both are becoming frustrated that Kat is having so much trouble accepting their loss.

When a wealthy new client moves to town and it appears Scott may be asked to represent her, he begs Kat to accompany him. It is here that Kat and her sister make a startling discovery: this new client is an old friend, Sarah Cherrington. As she reasserts herself into their lives and attempts to become close friends with Kat (and Scott), Kat begins to wonder if Sarah is there to make amends for her past or to hurt her the way she had years earlier.

I enjoyed the book and found it to be an interesting and captivating read. It wasn't as suspenseful as I had thought it might be, but definitely kept my attention until the very end.

I believe this is Mary McCluskey's first published novel. You can learn more about her at: