Bleeding Kansas

Bleeding Kansas

3.8 34
by Sara Paretsky
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The New York Times bestseller from the author of Fire Sale.

In Kansas, three families have coexisted not-so-peacefully for more than one hundred and fifty years: the Grelliers, the Fremantles, and the Schapens. Into their lives comes Gina Haring, a relative of the Fremantles who is house-sitting the derelict family mansion while sheSee more details below

Overview

The New York Times bestseller from the author of Fire Sale.

In Kansas, three families have coexisted not-so-peacefully for more than one hundred and fifty years: the Grelliers, the Fremantles, and the Schapens. Into their lives comes Gina Haring, a relative of the Fremantles who is house-sitting the derelict family mansion while she puts her own life in order. Her lifestyle and beliefs will put her at odds with her neighbors—and test the mettle of a community being swept up in events beyond its control.

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
Set in the rural Kaw River Valley, where the author grew up, and sparked by a feud between two families that pioneered this farm region during the 1850s, the multigenerational narrative bristles with the kind of prickly social issues that give substance to Paretsky's detective stories.
—The New York Times
Jim Lehrer
There was the 1850s' Bloody Kansas of history, and now there is Sara Paretsky's Bleeding Kansas of fiction. Each is a mix of the real and the imagined, and both are unforgettable. Paretsky, one of America's bestselling crime novelists, has taken a risk with this book. She has written a serious, multi-layered saga that requires her loyal readers to move away from the familiar world of V.I. Warshawski, the Chicago private detective whom Paretsky brought to life in 12 previous novels. In its place, she has created a wild, wicked world in present-day northeastern Kansas that is as complicated as it is mean.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Paretsky takes a break from the mystery genre with this powerful, emotionally genuine tale about the ties of love, family and religious belief in a rural Kansas community. The history of the Schapens, Grelliers and Freemantles in the Kaw River Valley dates back to the mid-19th century, but time, old grudges and religious differences have eroded the bonds of friendship. When John Freemantle's niece moves back to Douglas County, her Wiccan rituals and antiwar activism cause controversy and indirectly inspire teenager Chip Grellier to enlist in the army. After Chip's death in Iraq, the Grellier family begins falling apart. Meanwhile, the fortunes of the Schapens, devout fundamentalist Christians, rise with the emergence of an apparently perfect red heifer, the sacrifice crucial to the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem and the Second Coming of Jesus. This audio's power is in its richly evoked characters, and Susan Ericksen's expressive, sympathetic voice partners perfectly with Paretsky's text. She distinctively voices men, women and teenagers with careful shifts in pitch, inflection and accent. In the end, listeners will be both satisfied by the realistic, uplifting ending and bereft at having to say good-bye to Paretsky's painfully real Kansans. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 15). (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Paretsky, best known for her acclaimed V.I. Warshawski mystery series (Blacklist), turns to her roots in rural Kansas for this stand-alone novel of bigotry, lawlessness, and rampant biblical fundamentalism. It is the 1970s, and the Schapen and Grellier families have been farming adjacent land since the Civil War. Familiarity has bred contempt, and though both families profess Christianity, they practice it very differently, which sets them at odds. When one of the Schapens' cows gives birth to what may be a "perfect red heifer" and a local Orthodox Jewish sect shows great interest in it for potential sacrifice, a media frenzy ensues, stirring religious and monetary fervor. Then, a young Wiccan moves into a local empty farmhouse and starts conducting pagan rights, and the tiny community begins an active harassment campaign. All this is background for the star-crossed love between teenagers Lara Grellier and Robbie Schapen. Paretsky has written a powerful tale with overtones of the Wild West that illustrates the ease with which communities become zealous, ignited by fear and ignorance. Different in style from her crime fiction, this will nonetheless prove popular among her readers. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ9/1/07.]
—Susan Clifford Braun

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101211922
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
465,097
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >