The Dividing Season is a well researched retrospective tale of how one group of people coped with the pitfalls of living on the cusp of a new era in American History.
Trail riding days are all but dead, the Mexican Revolution has crossed the border into West Texas, drought nearly choked the life out of the cattle industry and oil has been discovered in East Texas.
Nell Miggins, the central character, realizes she can no longer manage her ranch as it had been for the last three generations. She doesn't know which way to turn, feels something vital missing from her life even though she's felt blessedly happy up until that one springtime when everything in her life gets turned upside down. As a result, she makes the guilt-ridden decision to sell her ranch.
While organizing her last cattle round up and sale, a group of men attacked by Mexican bandits show up in need of shelter, a windmiller arrives to repair a windmill essential to ranch operations and Nell is forced to hire a shady character from Alabama for help in herding her cattle to town.
Plot twists are chock full of action and will hold readers spellbound. Characters are as unique as the country they live in.
"...the story is unpredictable...can't wait to turn the page to see what's next..."
"...characters come to life with those small, intimate details only a practiced eye detects..."
"...an extraordinary landscape and time and people who loved experiencing both in spite of the hardships.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.65(d)|
|Age Range:||16 Years|
About the Author
Karen is a long standing member and former Catalog Editor for Women Writing the West and Western Writers of American. You can read more and contact her at www.karencaseyfitzjerrell.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Dividing Season is a classic, solidly entertaining novel with characters as real as you'll find on the pages of a book. This book has it all -- warmth, tears, laughter, adventure, danger, love and TEXAS -- all detailed to perfection.
--In The Diving Season, Karen Casey Fitzjerrell gives the reader a fast-moving story of Texas life at a crossroads for one woman in 1910. Because the author manages the reins of both action and introspection skillfully, the protagonist Nell Miggins becomes flesh and blood--family--as she struggles to make wise decisions. As ruggedly individualistic as Nell is, though, she worries about how her control over the family ranch will affect everyone with survival ties to the Miggins spread. --Perhaps one of the most moving virtues of the author's writing style is her careful development of secondary characters. Karen Casey Fitzjerrell portrays Nell's foreman as her most trusted friend, a semi-literate worker as an inspired singer of hymns, and the windmill repairman as a fellow sensitive to the power of quiet companionship. All of the author's characters are drawn with impressive physical and emotional detail. --The writer's style of story development is a literary accomplishment in and of itself. As if she has viewed the entire narrative in cinematic clarity, she offers the reader one close-up after another--a scene of Nell on horseback, followed by a close-up of her ally Pablo and his family, then a shift to a professor at an archaeological dig near the Miggins ranch, next a flashback to a ranch worker's unfortunate childhood. Each scene adds up and contributes to the unfolding saga. --Yes, The Dividing Season will more than satisfy those readers wanting a Texas story to be fraught with danger from outlaws and storms, as well as imbued with the romance of sunsets. What's more, the reader will appreciate and remember Karen Casey Fitzjerrell's artistic sense of storytelling. Her narrative moves naturally and without traditional chapter divisions, much as seasons in Texas often defy demarcation. The novel is charged with a deep sense of belonging to the land, and the pages of this novel turn easily as if touched by a particularly uplifting breeze.
Every so often a reader discovers a book that is such a pleasure, it is almost an honor to read it. Karen Casey Fitzjerrell's The Dividing Season was such a book for me. In 1910 Wishing, Texas, Nell Miggins prepares to sell her Carrageen ranch and travel, forsaking the inheritance her father left her. But when a windmiller, two professors and a rambunctious cowhand with a heavenly singing voice come into her life, with the further threat of outlaws on the loose, Nell can only wonder if the choices she is making are the right ones. In a story which takes us from the backwaters of rural Texas to sites of Mayan antiquity in the jungles of Mexico, Fitzjerrell reveals to us as well as Nell the simple truth that sometimes it is just a whole lot better to be with those who know and love you rather than venturing out into the wider world. Sometimes it is just better to sit back and enjoy the life you have and know, rather than to constantly search for something more. Fitzjerrell's style is restrained yet poetic, capturing the atmosphere of the scenes she describes as well as their physical presence. Her characters come to life with those small, intimate details only a practiced eye detects, the minutiae and small gestures that embody the individual. Her keen observation breathes life into the everyday rituals of a time long gone and makes the reader yearn for a past he never knew. Such involvement with the book is well rewarded, although that is not to say that the story is predictable. While Fitzjerrell keeps a tight rein on her prose, the pages are kept turning until the very end.
The Dividing Season by Karen Casey Fitzjerrell is historical fiction. Under her hand, though, the place, people, and time come alive. The main character, Nell Miggins, lives in tough times, but the times have not made her tough. They have, however, made her strong. Her way of thinking and living were different from mine, but her desires and worries are ones I could identify with. She runs a Texas cattle ranch handed down to her by her father. She is not totally alone because she has men working for her who help to herd the cattle and take care of the ranch. She has reached a time in her life when she wants more. She wants to travel, to step out of her normal life, even though she is past the time when she might have married and had children. She also accepts that she’s past the time when she might have found love. I thoroughly enjoyed The Dividing Season. It moves quickly. The characters emerge as real and unique people. Nell Miggins charts her own path and accepts the consequences of her decisions. The story felt real and true to the time period and place. Each character is well-defined and brought to life. There’s a lot of action and adventure in the story, but the true glory of the story are the characters. I give The Dividing Season a rating of Hel-O! I believe this is Karen Casey Fitzjerrell’s first book. I am tapping fingers as I wait for the next.