Author: Charlotte Whitney
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Lit, Book Club Lit
It’s a boring, hardscrabble life for three sisters growing up on a Michigan farm during the throes of the Great Depression. But when young Nellie, digging for pirate treasure, discovers the tiny hand of a dead baby, rumors begin to fly. Narrated by Nellie and her two older sisters, the story follows the girls as they encounter a patchwork of threatening circumstances and decide to solve the mystery.
I really enjoyed this novel of three sisters growing up during the Great Depression. The way the author wrote each sisters’ point of view, while keeping it appropriate for their ages, took great skill. I have to say, my favorite character was Nellie. I loved her innocence and the way she made up imaginary friends and stories. Miss Whitney has that talent where, even though there are major world events occurring in the background, she focuses on the people living during those events, and envelops you into their lives. Certainly worth the read for any American historical fiction fan.
When I got home from high school today, Jeepers, I knew immediately that something wasn’t right. Aunt Hazel and Ma were sitting out by the milk house on a couple of turned-over pails, and Irene and Nellie were sitting on the ground close by. All of them were looking towards the lane that goes down to the two meadows and onto the woods and crick. The county sheriff’s car sat empty near the silo. No one was talking.
Worried, I raced across the yard. Could Pa have gotten hurt? As I ran toward Ma I looked over at the west field and saw Ace and King hitched up to the wagon piled with brush. Rover was sleeping near the wagon.
It looked like Pa had finished about half of the field, but he was nowhere in sight. Pa never leaves the horses hitched up when he isn’t working. When he comes up for noontime dinner he al- ways puts them in the barnyard so they can rest, too. Naturally, I panicked.
When Ma saw me running over she jumped up and walked over to me, a strange look on her face.
“Is Pa all right?” I blurted out.
“Yes, yes,” Ma answered. “He and Elmer are down in the woods with Sheriff Devlon.” Nellie pushed me aside and threw her arms around Ma’s legs.
“Nellie thinks there’s a dead baby in the woods,” Irene piped up, all knowingly. “The Sheriff’s gone with them to look at it. Who in their right mind would bury a baby in that woods? Nellie musta gotten it all mixed up.”
About the Author:
Charlotte Whitney grew up in Michigan and spent much of her career at the University of Michigan directing internship and living-learning programs. She started out writing non-fiction while at the University and switched to romance with I DREAM IN WHITE. A passion for history inspired her to write THREADS A Depression Era Tale chronicling the stories of three sisters on a farm during the throes of the Great Depression. She lives in Arizona, where she loves hiking, bicycling, swimming, and practicing yoga.
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