Friday, 5 August 2016

Book Review: Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson.

Book: Hattie Big Sky

Author: Kirby Larson

Pages: 298

Read On: Paperback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one distant relative to another. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she summons the courage to leave Iowa and move all by herself to Vida, Montana, to prove up on her late uncle’s homestead claim.

Under the big sky, Hattie braves hard weather, hard times, a cantankerous cow, and her own hopeless hand at the cookstove. Her quest to make a home is championed by new neighbors Perilee Mueller, her German husband, and their children. For the first time in her life, Hattie feels part of a family, finding the strength to stand up against Traft Martin’s schemes to buy her out and against increasing pressure to be a “loyal” American at a time when anything—or anyone—German is suspect. Despite daily trials, Hattie continues to work her uncle’s claim until an unforeseen tragedy causes her to search her soul for the real meaning of home.

General Thoughts: This book was on TBR for a while. I first heard about it through another book reviewer...someone on Youtube was raving about the book and the premise sounded really great. I spotted it in Kitab Khana and I just had to get it. 

Things I Liked: 

1. The writing was wonderful, simple and evocative of the time, place and people. Especially for a historical fiction novel, it was a very easy read. 

2. I loved Hattie. She is just a wonderful girl to get to know. She is strong, yet vulnerable, wise and willing to learn and her faith was so amazing to read about. She just made me smile and cheer for her and all of her endeavours. 

3. I have so much respect and admiration for those who tamed land and made it yield. It takes so much work and sweat and heartache to make a go of farmlands. This book just reiterated this point for me. Seeing Hattie and her neighbours working so hard and facing so many challenges made me respect them so much. The first generation farmers and heck farmers in general deserve so much respect for all that they do. 

4. The First World War is often forgotten in comparison to the Second World War. I haven't read much --fictionally- about this Great War. So it was interesting and certainly different to read about 1917 and what was going in the world; or at least in one corner of the world. 

5. Seeing the slights and hyper-patriotism was so interesting to read. Seeing the people of German origin being shunned and questioned and doubted was disheartening but it was something that happened and it was shown very well in the book. 

6. The people in this book were just golden and hands down the best aspect of this book. They just great people. The lot of them. 

7. There was so much humour in this book, parts that made me chuckle out loud. 

8. There are letters in this book. I love, loveeeee having letters in the book. 

9. The reality of war-time is shown so well and it really brought the time alive in it's pages. 

10. This book was such a delightful read. It  read easily. It took you to that time and place and showed all of the struggled and heart-ache and sheer grit that made farming possible. I really loved this book and I highly, highly recommend it. 

Rating: 4/5 

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