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I have little enough to say, and even less worth reading.

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The Almond Tree
Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Crete and James: Personal Letters of Lucretia and James Garfield
John Shaw
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Molly Gloss

Over Prairie Trails

Over Prairie Trails - Frederick Philip Grove

After the first couple essays, the author spends a lot of time talking about snow and snow drifts (and much of the book is weather-centric). His natural curiosity is endearing, but the detailed observations can wear a little thin for a modern reader who’s been able to see both Antarctica and the North Pole on TV her whole life. But as he says in his essays, he’s writing these primarily for his wife and daughter, and his devotion to his daughter specifically and his desire to see her learn about the world and nature and succeed in life is again endearing. There are references to his advanced age and chronic illness, both unspecified, that lend a sense of urgency and poignancy to his desire to share his knowledge and experiences with her. His sense of impending mortality is tangible, and yet he seems to risk an awful lot by traveling through extreme winter road conditions to spend barely a day each week with his family. It’s fascinating on several levels.


Peter and Dan, of course, are the not wholly unsung heroes of the piece. Grove knows he’s got a good pair of horses in them, and he does show genuine care and concern for their welfare even as he drives them 45 miles each way through monumental snow drifts in 30-below temperatures. You don’t get much concrete information about the people in these stories, but the extraordinary feats these horses undertook so willingly for Grove may speak as much to his character as their own.


ETA: According to Wikipedia, his "advanced age" would be his early forties, and he ended up outliving his young daughter. It was a different time... :-)