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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Review: From the Dust

From the Dust
by Ryshia Kennie

In the spring of 1935, understated beauty Eva Edwards is widowed. A blessing to be sure. Having long since left England, a rare talent for music and notions of love behind, her one focus is keeping her farm and raising a child not her own—no matter the sacrifice and struggle.

Born of wealth, veterinarian Tate Prescott Brown has come to the dust of Saskatchewan’s rural Qu’Appelle District to find independence and take possession of his farm—Eva’s farm. Now, in an effort to solve a legal misunderstanding, Tate faces a sacrifice and struggle of his own: to do what he thinks is right by Eva ... or what’s right for his heart.

From the Dust tells the story of Eva, who for reasons beyond her control, is losing her home. Unfortunately, the new owner Tate has big plans for her farm. He's actuallly a nice guy trying to do the right thing but only seems to make a bigger mess. Eva plans to marry Tate for practical reasons which make sense to the prairie folk but is beyond the grasp of a dreamer like Tate.

My father is from Saskatchewan and his parents married the year this story takes place. In the hard times of the dust bowl days, a marriage such as theirs and the one Eva plans with Tate made sense. A man needed a strong partner and a woman needed someone to provide a home for her. Romance wasn't high on the list. Of course, in romance stories the characters fall in love despite themselves. Still, I loved that grain of truth running through this story. The characters felt like real people with real problems.

I found the cast of supporting characters believable as well, with their small town meddling, for better or worse! I laughed at the well meaning yet misguided charity of the city folk too. This is a charming story with likeable main characters. Tate is a different hero than the usual take-no-prisoners type. It's quite refreshing.

Kennie writes beautful descriptions of the prairie. She paints a pretty picture of the wheat fields and surrounding scenery. Within the first pages, a dust storm overtakes our heroes and I could feel the sand stuck in my teeth!

Except for several head-scratching head-hopping moments, it was an easy and enjoyable read. Definitely recommended.

Review by Lavender