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On The TL: Book Reviews

By Leslie Williams and Judith Bergquist, Pauline Robinson Branch Library

This month reviews include Colorado authors, old and new!  Happy holidays!

West of Last Chance By Peter Brown and Kent Haruf

Opening to the third page and photograph of the book it looks as though the page had been left blank until a realization begins of a snowed in landscape. The harsh, poignant, beautifully inspiring photos and limited text are so succinct and emotional that the book tells quite a story. From dislocated American Indians to church basement potluck suppers and cold football games on wind swept fields these stories and pictures make you feel the heat and wind and cold of the plains. It allows the reader to get to know the people and the taciturn nature of land. “You have to know how to look at this country. You have to slow down. It isn’t pretty, but it’s beautiful.” — Kent Haruf 

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry By Mildred Taylor

The 40th anniversary edition of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, was published in 2016 and is a Newbery Book Award winner. The story takes place during the Depression era in Mississippi. Nine-year-old Cassie and her family are faced with racial discrimination over land that her grandfather has worked all of his life to own. Children and adults alike will enjoy this story of courage, self-determination and family loyalty. The author, Mildred Taylor, lives in Colorado.

Inherit the Bones By Emily Littlejohn

Inherit the Bones is a suspenseful story about Nicky Benny who goes missing and then resurfaces when the circus comes to Cedar Valley a small town outside of Vail. Gemma Monroe is the detective that has to crack the case and handle some old skeletons in her own closet that she must face. Don’t worry; if you are a lover of mystery books, this book is part of a series. The fourth installment was released in November.

Where You Once Belonged By Kent Haruf

Short, quickly paced, and yet long in description of feelings and place this book will take you to a small rural town on the eastern plains of Colorado. A story, told in current and past times, describes events where the protagonist, a journalist, and the town’s high school football hero, a small-town embellisher, are entangled in life-altering events. Writer Kent Haruf has a way of describing scenes that pull the reader into the sights and sounds of the town’s streets, café and jail cells. He can be so descriptive of the emotional illness and retribution of the villain and in turn the residents on the innocent that you can barely breathe. The town, as well as the town folk, have as much character in the story as the primary figures. In small significant pieces, we grow to deeply know characters involved in the story.

Other books by the author include Eventide, Plainson, and The Tie That Binds.

Editor’s Note: Park Hill branch Librarian Tara Bannon Williamson and Pauline Robinson branch Librarian Leslie Williams take turns every month writing “On the TL” book reviews. This month, Williams is joined by reviewer Judith Bergquist.


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