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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Come Green Grass by Maxine Isackson

Come Green Grass by Maxine Isackson
Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing
Genre: Historical (Am. West)
Length: Full (343 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Leah Clayborn is seventeen, newly orphaned and accustomed to a genteel life in Ohio. She arrives in Horse Flatts, Nebraska, in the year 1894 to make her home on a cattle ranch owned by a mysterious Uncle Simon she has never met. Intrigue, romance and mystery will grip the reader's interest as the characters move through a tangle of sorrow, tragedy and love.

A love that arrives and refuses to leave makes its way through this gripping story of life in the sand hills of Nebraska in the late 1800’s.

Awakening to her potential as a woman, Leah Clayborn comes into her own as she learns to use her common sense, intelligence, assertiveness, compassion and even her feminine wiles to cope with the rigors of living on a ranch in the sand hills of Nebraska. She even accepts big responsibilities that are thrust upon her when her Uncle Simon is hurt.

Leah loves the freedoms that she did not have back in Ohio. She loves her Uncle Simon even though he presents himself as a gruff old rancher. She becomes a part of the ranch and the surrounding community life and finds neighbors who are true friends and others who are “a-pain-in-the-neck” and still others who are evil and dangerous. However, the neighbor she most wants to be a part of her life, Ty Worth, remains aloof. He ignites a longing deep within Leah—a longing new to her. The ins and outs of their relationship keep the reader turning pages.

The diverse characters’ interactions entice the reader into a vicarious experience of living through drought, cruel winter, wildfire, and dangerous, bad people--some who seem insane. Their perseverance and survival techniques show how civilization moved westward during the 1800’s. Their resilience and ability to find joy and happiness amid all the hard work and hard time makes Come Green Grass uplifting even though there are sinister activities that keep tension throughout the story.

Maxine Isackson’s depiction of how people “made-do” in that period and the enduring love she weaves in among the hardships, hurts, and fears makes compelling reading that satisfies the heart. I definitely recommend this read.