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Monday, April 6, 2009

Leather Hinges by Maxine Isackson

Leather Hinges by Maxine Isackson
Publisher: Awe-Struck E-Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

A young bride of seventeen, Hallie McCain finds herself removed from the life as she knows it to the distant Sandhills of Nebraska. She and her handsome new husband, Will McCain, set out to try their hand at homesteading. As Hallie struggles with loneliness, drought, prairie fire, and a near romance with a wounded outlaw, we come to know her like a sister. The reader will cry with her when friends die, and laugh at a humorous encounter with Indians. She does not lack for spunk. Hallie learns to use a rifle and to gather “cowchips” for fuel. When she finds herself at the end of her rope, she has one of her little talks with God, lifts her chin and readies herself for the next encounter of life. You will take Hallie and the others that populate this story into your heart and find it difficult to say goodbye.

“For better or for worse” is a vow taken in the golden glow of love with little realization of how difficult it will be to keep. This is a strong thread of truth woven through this heart-wrenching story about newlyweds, Will and Hallie McCain.

When Hallie’s father tells her, “When you’re at the end of your rope, ask God for a few more feet”, she had no idea how much she would need to do that very thing when she and Will go to the sand hills of Nebraska to homestead.

Leather Hinges is a flashback of how things were before Hallie leaves Will to return to her family in Missouri. It is much like memoirs of some of my ancestors – just a different location. The enduring commitment and perseverance of people with dreams who strive toward their goals is another strong thread woven into this story.

Hailstorms, blizzards, tornadoes, drought, rattlesnakes, privation, and loneliness all conspire against the characters. Maxine Isackson gives vivid descriptions of all the difficulties, but also, gives remarkable descriptions of the beauty found in the virgin lands of Nebraska in the 1880s. The land is an awesome character in the novel.

One’s emotions are touched, not only by the main characters, but also by the realistic, diverse secondary characters who become a vital part of Hallie and Will McCain’s lives.

Ms. Isackson writes no steamy sex scenes but shows love being tested to its limits as the characters strive to carve out a place for themselves in a new land. She writes a poignant, realistic story that takes the reader back in time to vicariously experience pioneer life.

The ending of this story tells the reader much about Hallie McCain.