LIGHTNING IN A DROUGHT YEAR
Life is fairly idyllic for Laurel McBryde on her fathers picturesque ranch, where she has free reign to practice her favorite hobby, photography. Then, Laurels father has a fatal heart attack and she goes to live with her mothers family, The Hartmoors, whom she hasnt seen in 15 years.
A prosperous banking family, they are horrified by Laurels hoyden-like behavior and determined to civilize her and find her a proper spouse. Lonely and homesick, Laurel takes comfort in a new friendship with farmer Carey Fairchild, and soon a forbidden attraction blooms. Meanwhile, Laurel is swept up in the social and economic turmoil surrounding the Populist Uprising, and love enables her to find the courage to emerge as a feminist leader.
With an intriguing setting amid the roots of feminism, this sweet story of a woman coming into her own is polished by Michelle Blacks lyrical prose. Though the plot is somewhat predictable and the pacing a little off, readers will enjoy the chemistry between Laurel and Carey. SWEET (Hardcover: Oct., 241 pp., $22.95; Also available soon at www.hardshell.com)