Holding Up the Earth

Monday, January 28, 2008

I was raised in a home that my parents built when I was 5 years old.So I know the history of the house.I currently live in a home built in 1927 and I often wonder about the history of the house. I know a little of the history through the original deed I was given when we purchased the house.For instance, the property was originally owned by one of the McPherson brothers of Howell.Technically I live in the McPherson subdivision in Lansing.But what I really wonder about is the people who lived there before us and what their lives where like.I want that personal glimpse into the past….

When Hope was 8 years old, her mother was killed in a car accident.Hope, now 14, has bounced around from foster home to foster home.Sarah, her current foster mom is different than the others.But Hope has long given up on the thought of adoption.Sarah and Hope travel from Minneapolis one summer to Nebraska and the farm where Sarah was raised.While there, Anna, Sarah’s mother, shares the history of four generations of young women who have lived on the farm.Through letters, Hope learns of Abigail’s struggles in 1869-1870 when the property was homesteaded. Rebecca’s diary tells of her time as the hired girl in the summer of 1900.Anna tells her own story of June1936.And finally, Sarah shares her own diary of 1963 with Hope.Will the farm capture Hope’s heart as it did those before her?


The reviewer in Horn Book said it best:

“The stories of five teenaged girls – separated by decades, but joined by their love of a Nebraska farm- are pieced together like a patchwork quilt in this first novel…A carefully structured work full of recurring connections and patterns, peopled with strong female characters.”

Holly, Youth Services

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