Since moving to Montana I have enjoyed reading stories taking place in the American West. I thank TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker at no charge for my honest review.
About One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow:
Hardcover: 496 Pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 8, 2019)
From the bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night comes a powerful and poetic novel of survival and sacrifice on the American frontier.
Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.
Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.
Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.
About the Author:
Through unexpected characters and vivid prose, Olivia Hawker explores the varied landscape of the human spirit. Olivia’s interest in genealogy often informs her writing: her two novels, The Ragged Edge of Night and One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow, are based on true stories found within her own family tree. She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, where she homesteads at Longlight, a one-acre microfarm dedicated to sustainable permaculture practices.
Connect with Olivia
This is a book that grabbed me from the the very first paragraph. It starts with a murder when one man goes down to the river and finds his wife with his neighbor. This leaves the two families living out on the Wyoming frontier without their men as winter is coming. The families are forced to come together to survive despite the dislike between them. Their farms are far from any other neighbors and without each other neither will make it.
The book is told in alternating character voices – each one unique in its way. Ms. Hawker has a magical way of writing so that the reader feels immersed in the story. Living on the frontier in 19th century Wyoming was not for the faint of heart and you get a real sense of that as these two families strive to work together just to survive without their men.
Once I started reading I just kept going. It’s not an easy book to read by any means. The story is one of loneliness, heartbreak, love, redemption and finding solace where you really don’t expect it. A truly engrossing read.
One lucky US reader will win a copy of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow. Just enter as many ways as you would like on the Gleam widget below. Good luck everyone.