These are the adventures of Lidie Newton. She’s born, her mother dies, she gets sent to live with her half-sister, her father’s daughter not her mother’s daughter. Then her father dies, they have a funeral. Her half-sisters discuss what should be done with her. She is married off to an abolitionist and leaves for Kansas. They travel in a steamboat. They stake a claim, build a cabin of sorts, sleep on a hand sewed bed that Lidie sewed, even though she tell us at the beginning of the book that she can’t sew. Lidie chases away vermin puts mud in the cracks in the walls. Worries about her nephew, worries about her husband. They move into town for the winter and live with other people. People die and get murdered, good guys and bad. They go back to their claim after winter, and then we get to the “cold-blooded murder” that “invades her own intimate circle”. By now we are more than halfway through the book.
It has taken me far to long to get to this point. The narrative crawls, we know every detail of her life, even when the murder happens, she calmly relates it, tells about the fear and panic she feels, but with no feeling. There is too much description and too much detail. I didn’t finish this book so I don’t know how it ends, if Lidie found the killers and got her revenge, the book jacket promises us we get to know Lidie, by this point I didn’t want to, I just knew that I didn’t like this book.
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