Saturday, October 25, 2014
Prodigal Song by Wendy Moser
Outlaw Joshua Manning becomes a fugitive when his companion shoots a young Christian missionary in a robbery attempt a few days before Christmas in 1905. Escaping, he travels alone from Illinois to nearby Wisconsin, taking shelter in a thicket of pine trees. As a bitterly cold snow storm stalls out over the Mississippi River Valley, he falls asleep upon an icy bedroll by his fading campfire. Near death, he dreams about his earlier life.
He remembers his grandmother and the farm hands who made up his family as a young child. When his grandmother died, he was sent to an orphanage. There he met Luke and Russell, who became his family when they left the orphanage together. Outcasts, they formed a band of highway robbers, but thieving never felt right to Joshua, his grandmother's biblical teachings haunting him in his dreams. And his heart aches as memories of Samantha engulf him-Samantha in red velvet. Why did she marry another man when she was promised to him?
On Christmas Eve, he awakens from a deep slumber, a hundred years into the future, hearing the cries of nine-year-old Tommy Barker. Fearing for the boy's safety, Joshua takes him back to his family's farmhouse as the winter storm escalates. Tommy's mother, thankful for the return of her son, invites Joshua to share the holiday with their family.
Eventually, the twenty-first century invades the proceedings, and Joshua is forced to come to terms with his own humanity and spirituality. Together, Joshua and Tommy unravel the mystery that is eternal life
Review by Julie Grimm:
If Prodigal Song by Wendy Moser had a picture on the cover of this book of a man sleeping outside with his horse by a fire, near the woods, with the moon shining down on them, I would have picked this book up sooner! I realize that the cover art was done by her son, which makes it special to her, but I really had a hard time picking it up because the book cover gave me no clue as to what this book would be about.
I love stories from the early 1900’s, and Wendy knits a yarn that brings you back in time. You are there with Joshua Manning as he leaves the orphanage that has been his home. He and his friends from the orphanage become outlaws stealing from others in order to survive. Joshua knows he is making bad choices but feels he doesn’t have any other alternatives. When he meets Samantha, he falls in love, and in order to provide for her decides to go with his friends just one more time. You’ll wander along with him after a robbery gone badly brings him home to find Samantha married to another man for which she will give no explanation.
This love story gets a little confusing at the end as you try to figure out who is related to whom, but it is well worth the read and one you won’t soon forget.
Length: 172 pages
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Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle