October Storms

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Meticulously researched, “October Storms” tells the tale of Louise Hawkes, a young woman living in central Illinois in 1897, with her two young children, Randall and Becca. The history of the time period comes alive beautifully in the author’s carefully detailed descriptions of the hardships, lifestyle, and communities that flourish as the ravages of disease, unpredictable weather, poverty and isolation bind the inhabitants of each small town together. The story is told with particular sensitivity to the challenges faced by women, as Louise and her family struggle to survive on their own after the unexplained disappearance of her husband.

Without giving the plot away (no spoilers here), I found Louise’s journey, and the characters she encounters along the way, touching, horrific and tragic in parts, inspiring and hopeful in others. In a world where love for her family, and the need to nurture, protect and keep them safe, is clearly Louise’s greatest joy as well as her greatest hardship; surrounded by potential protectors, abusers, friends, benefactors, irritants, lovers, and cohorts; figuring out who, amongst the world at large, she can really trust is her only hope for their survival.

A big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts provided are my own.


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