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Bleeding Kansasby Sara Paretsky
In Bleeding Kansas, Sara Paretsky creates a historical connection to the early abolitionists that settled the Kansas territory, and gives an interesting view of her home state in the present, answering some of the “what’s wrong with Kansas” questions that many of us have. However, she also offers a lot about what's right with Kansas, showing the strength of family and the commitment of a community to its members. The portrayal of the evangelicals in the story is almost frightening, but may ring truer than we would like to admit or even ponder. Paretsky creates a realistic look at family farm life in rural America, with fascinating characters whose families have been intertwined for generations. Well worth the read!
Synopses & Reviews
Set in the Kaw River Valley where Paretsky grew up, Bleeding Kansas is the story of the Schapens and the Grelliers, two farm families whose histories have been entwined since the 1850s, when their ancestors settled the valley as antislavery emigrants. Today, the Schapen family, terrified by the lawlessness of the 1970s-when Lawrence was the most violent college town in the nation-has turned to that old-time religion for security. The Schapens keep a close eye on all their neighbors, most especially the Grelliers. They maintain careful track of everyone's misdeeds, printing the most egregious on their family website. When Gina Haring, a Wiccan, moves into an empty farmhouse and starts practicing pagan rites, the family members are so outraged that they begin an active harassment campaign against the Wiccans. The Schapens worry, too, about who stands better with the Lord: their family or the Grelliers. When a Schapen cow gives birth to what may be a Perfect Red Heifer-needed if the temple is ever rebuilt in Jerusalem-the Schapens feel convinced that God is indeed smiling on them. Despite parental cautions, the Grelliers' teenagers are enraged by the Schapens. All their short lives, they and the young Schapens have fought. One particularly angry confrontation causes Chip Grellier to be expelled from school and consequentlyto join the army. Chip's death in Iraq is the catalyzing event for momentous changes in the lives of not only both the Schapens and the Grelliers but of all the families in the valley. The powerful, climactic scene at Gina Haring's Samhain bonfire will forever haunt the reader.
The "New York Times" bestselling authors most remarkable novel yet--a story of two families, linked by their Midwestern pioneer pasts, and the dark family secrets that threaten to tear them apart.
The New York Times bestseller from the author of Fire Sale.
In Kansas, three families have coexisted not-so-peacefully for more than one hundred and fifty years: the Grelliers, the Fremantles, and the Schapens. Into their lives comes Gina Haring, a relative of the Fremantles who is house-sitting the derelict family mansion while she puts her own life in order. Her lifestyle and beliefs will put her at odds with her neighbors?and test the mettle of a community being swept up in events beyond its control.
About the Author
Sara Paretsky is the author of sixteen books, including her renowned V. I. Warshawski novels. Her many awards include the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers' Association. She lives in Chicago.
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