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This novel is set in the early 1940's in rural southern Iowa. It revolves around the lives of two young schoolgirls and their families. Bert Wilber is coping with the aftermath of losing his wife. Devastated, Bert seeks to bury his pain in back breaking farm work. His daughter Beth is a well mannered, quiet, and non-complaining five year old. She has been much more deeply affected by her mother's passing than anyone realizes. She seeks solace in nature and in her pets, including her loyal dog Shep and a beloved pet crow she names Billy. Beth attends Center #3, a one-room country school where the all round outstanding student is child genius Kathryn Langdon. Kate is beautiful, spoiled, sassy, and impulsive. She is unchallenged by the naive first year teacher and is forever bored by the mundane repetitiveness of the school days. Her unremitting efforts to step up interest results in daily quandaries for herself, the instructor, and the other students. She is often guilty of deeds which get her into trouble with the teacher. Tribulations intensify for Bert, Beth, and Kate when her Aunt Mildred Langdon, recently fired for stubborn insubordination, shows up to stay with her brother and sister-in-law, Kate's parents. Mildred is an unattractive, joyless, obsessive, and self indulgent spinster who brings her meanness with her. At the school Halloween play and potluck, she lays eyes on Bert and decides she will have him. Fed up with living alone and incensed at losing several suitors to more attractive women she launches into duplicity. When in the company of Bert she is gushy, flattering, and feigns pleasantness in an all out drive to win his affections and his hand. But because of her extreme dislike of children Mildred is prone to use offensive, conniving, and heavy-handed tactics when alone with Beth or Kate. During a black and dangerous lightening, wind, and hail storm a neighborhood couple take refuge in Bert's storm cellar. With them is their niece Lisa, an attractive and kind young woman from Chicago. Despite an age difference Beth and Lisa immediately become close friends. Mildred learns of Lisa's presence in the neighborhood, immediately sees her as a rival, and becomes insanely jealous. Her manner of dealing with suspicion is to crush anything or any one standing in her way by the power of her personality. She teams with local thug and much feared bad guy Josh Clayton and things go entirely out of hand. In a fast paced, descriptive, and stunning climax Kate steps forward with several very startling disclosures. And in doing so she teaches Beth important life lessons which are as enlightening as they are unexpected.
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Novelist edie mellgren (who insists on spelling her name in lower case for reasons known only to her) has compiled numerous articles and poems and has published two novels, The Vindication of Lucas Goddard and Crow of Clay. She just wrapped up work on a collection of seven short stories which she will publish soon. She is currently working on a sequel to Vindication of Lucas Goddard due to numerous requests by readers. In that novel two teen age lads stand against mining in Emigrant Gulch, Montana. It is a subject very much in the forefront as a huge mining operation is currently threatening the area. Claiming to be "mostly retired" edie also claims to live on the side of the most beautiful mountain in the entire U.S., located in the Paradise Valley of Montana. She is passionate about writing, puttering about the yard, and growing healthy food in her green house. She smiles as she says she also spends a goodly amount of time filling in holes her rat terrier has dug in the yard while on a ceaseless mission to harass gophers. Her favorite mode of dress is anything old and comfortable. Her declaration that she is a rather eccentric hermit is partially accurate and partially a tongue in cheek fabrication as she cherishes precious time with her family and numerous friends. She is a champion of children and if granted one wish would have the lives of each child be happy, healthy, and free of concern. She remains very passionate about the injustices in the world which negatively impact children and it is the subject that underpins a good deal of the writings. She is gifted at turning out books that can be read as straightforward, interesting, and entertaining stories by casual readers. However, astute readers will pick up on much deeper societal messages relevant to today and tomorrow. Her writing style is easy to read, very descriptive, and fast paced. Her characters are well build and so believable that one hates to leave them at the end of reading one of her novels or stories. Deeply spiritual, edie is content and joyful. She is always willing to take the time to listen to the problems or concerns of others. She admits to being the happiest when "on a project" so she stays perpetually busy. She just recently has taken up learning to play the guitar. She loves to visit with folks who happen by her place and want to discuss anything but politics. edie is gathering a following of readers who enthusiastically look forward to her next works.
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M150860701X