Mary Jean Kelso’s historical romance, “Life on the Homestead,” was not only entertaining, but also informative about western life! Western fiction has been a passion of mine now for several years. I confess that Louis L’Amour is my favorite and I actually get a little bored with Zane Grey. Ms. Kelso’s book, while teaching me some new facts about life on the range, kept me in suspense the whole way through and I didn’t want to stop reading.
I fell in love with the Westerman family and agonized along with them as they dealt not only with the day-to-day chores and other tribulations that western pioneer families faced, but also with great adversities such as mental illness, cattle rustling, and severe childhood illness. Ms. Kelso dealt with racism as Charlie Cooper and his new wife, Effie Mae, a black couple settling onto the range, have to fear for their lives.
Despite all of the drama in the book, there are some wonderfully humorous portions, too, especially the marble game and a small matter about one boy who is not very good at handling guns. The book is action-packed and flows well, yet there is no blood or death—which is very refreshing. I’m ready for more!
Book Review By:
Award winning author, Mary Jean Kelso, writes not only adult fiction but Young Adult mysteries, children’s picture books and non-fiction. Her work is consistently printed in The Lahontan Valley News and other Nevada newspapers including The Nevada Appeal (Carson City). She recently received an award from the Nevada Press Assoc. for her part in reporting the number one story of 2008 in her hometown. She is currently working on the fifth in the Homesteader series at Wings and preparing for release of several of her children’s picture books from Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc