Walls for the Wind

Walls for the Wind

by Alethea Williams

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532824913
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/03/2016
Series: Irish Blessings Series , #1
Pages: 218
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Alethea Williams is the author of Willow Vale, the story of a Tyrolean immigrant's journey to America after WWI. Willow Vale was a Wyoming State Historical Society Publications Award winner. The orphan train story Walls for the Wind, her second novel, was a WILLA Literary Award finalist, a gold Will Rogers Medallion winner, and placed first at the Laramie Awards in the Prairie Fiction category. Her latest historical novel, Náápiikoan Winter, is a sweeping epic of cultural turmoil on the North American continent at the dawn of the nineteenth century.

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Walls For The Wind 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
AndreaDowning More than 1 year ago
When Katherine Calhoun is given the job of placing orphans from the institution where she, herself, was raised, into God-fearing homes out west, she is somewhat hesitant at leaving New York and her beloved mentor, Reverend Howe. But Katherine, or Kit as she is called, has had duty drummed into her, along with a strong sense of morality and a hatred of lasciviousness and strong liquor. Heading west with a bunch of children may not be right up her proverbial alley, but she accepts the job despite her reservations. Unfortunately, events conspire against her, and she finds herself with four of her charges at a point where she, alone, must decide to either to take them forward via Hell on Wheels or return to New York. What is the lesser of the two evils? Her one wish is to find a decent man and get married, but does either place offer the opportunity, especially to a woman tethered to four children? Williams’ research into the era is incisive and complete; the stench of the Five Points section of Old New York is right there for the reader, along with the slush and mud of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the sound of gunshots blasting and ricocheting through the tent town of Hell on Wheels. Her characters are well drawn—Kit herself trying to throw off the shackles of her sheltered life, Connie who teeters on the verge of womanhood, Thomas who yearns to be a wage-earning man, and Patrick Kelley who has no less desire than to care for Kit and her strange brood. While at times I found some of Ms. Williams sentences somewhat lumbering and slowing the pace of the novel, I assure you that there’s excitement to be had, and the book reaches a most satisfying conclusion. I was given this book in return for an honest review.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Raanan Geberer for Readers' Favorite Walls For The Wind by Alethea Williams is a look at life in the Old West from a different perspective — the perspective of children and teenagers who were brought there in the famous “orphan trains.” As the book begins, Kit Calhoun, herself an orphan who was rescued from the streets as a young child, is satisfied with her work as assistant to the patrician Rev. Ignatius Howe, proprietor of a New York City orphanage. But change is in the wind. Because there are so many orphans, Rev. Howe decides to send some of them west on the orphan trains operated by the Children’s Aid Society. The trains need a female escort, so he asks Kit to go along. Soon, Kit becomes a regular on the trains, traveling back and forth. She finds out that the farmers are less interested in adopting the orphans than in using them as farm workers. Eventually, Kit, with several of the orphans, leaves her work and decides to become a part of the great American movement westward on her own.  In Walls For The Wind, Alethea Williams proves herself a master of description. She is as adept at describing the moralistic, religion-oriented world of the Rev. Howe’s Manhattan orphanage as she is in describing rough-and-ready boom towns of the West such as Julesburg, Colorado, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Many of the details she describes are left out of the typical Western story, such as how exploitative newspaper reporters accompanied the railroads west, hoping to feed juicy stories of frontier life to their readers back East. All in all, Williams clearly has a real feeling for the West, as befits someone who has lived in Wyoming most of her life. For a fresh take on the Old West, be sure to read Walls For The Wind.
cathydianeb More than 1 year ago
Walls for the wind is a lovely, poignant story. Kit is an orphan raised in a children’s Asylum, that after reaching 18 went to school and felt called to came back to work with the reverend who is like a father to her. As his assistant and working for food and board she soon finds that she wants more of her life, a husband and children of her own. Circumstances land her on an orphan train west to place a load of older children in homes to work and learn to farm in exchange for food, clothing and shelter. She has an 8-year-old and 2 year old she is set on keeping together in one-home and a 15 year old boy that is headstrong that she doesn’t want to find back out on the streets. Her friend Connie from the Asylum that is a few months from 18 that wants to go west to find her future husband and setup her own sewing shop convinces Kit to take her along also.. Not able to find suitable homes for these four children and news of the passing of the Reverend, Kit finds herself stuck in the wild west with four children she had to adopt, faced with the weather, little money, a handsome shop manager and a scary mysterious Gambler. I will say for me the story started out a bit slow while Kit was learning her way in the orphanage but once they hit the rails for the west the story picked up and got very interesting. I love a story with good characterisation. I loved both Kit and Connie. They are both strong women. Connie knows exactly what she wants, Kit is learning as she goes as fate forces her hand along the way. The gambler is mysterious. He gave me the chills. The story does switch views a lot from character to character, but it was easy to follow . EXTRA. I have this in paperback and my husband read it. Here is his comments. He says he really liked the story. It was interesting. He liked the characters and the settings were very realistic. He also rates it a four. If you like stories of the old west, strong female leads, Orphans, gamblers, and a budding romance this is for you! * I received a copy of this book free-of-charge from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own*
RochelleRosesandThorns More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Walls for the Wind. I knew that women traveled west in search of husbands, but I had no idea good Christian organizations sent orphans west to basically work as indentured servants on farms or in towns in hopes they would bond with the families who, for all intents and purposes bought them, selecting them off auction blocks as though they were slaves just arrived from Africa. I suppose most of the children did become members of the families who took them in, but as the story shows, not all did. And while the contract stated both parties had the right to terminate it within sixty days (I believe), the agents shepherding the children rarely told them they had any choice but to stay where they were. When Kit Calhoun of the Immigrant Children’s Home bonds with four of her charges (against the rules), she refuses to break up a set of siblings and allows two older children the right of refusal if they don’t like the looks of the people offering to take them. Thus she finds herself at the end of the line when she receives word her mentor and foster-father has died. The agent traveling with her gives her an inheritance her foster father supposedly left for her “just in case,” and she resigns her position, adopts her charges, and forges on, following the railroad crew building the new Union Pacific Railroad. In Julesberg in the Colorado Territory, she meets Patrick Kelley, the agent for the Company store, and becomes the target of a psychopathic gambler bent upon revenge, thinking Kelley killed his twin. And when Kit again follows the railroad, this time to Cheyenn in the Dakota Territory, both men turn up there, too. This would have been a great book if it weren’t for the head-hopping. This is the second book in a row I’ve read from the same publisher that was rife with this problem, and it’s a shame their authors have to suffer from such inadequate editing. If you can read a book that hops from one point of view to the next without getting dizzy, Walls for the Wind is an interesting look at our history and a good adventure.
booknerdDS More than 1 year ago
A copy received from Reading Addiction Virtual Tour for an honest review four stars This was my first time reading Alethea Williams and what a treat! I loved this story! This book was all heart and soul! The author captured both my imagination and my heart with her main character Kit Calhoun. Kit was a fantastic character. She grew up in a children's asylum and has many demons to battle. I loved reading about this character and this time period. This is a fantastic book! I highly recommend it and really enjoyed it!
PureJonel More than 1 year ago
This novel definitely shows the hard hitting realities of life in the western frontier.  Williams transplants you into the time period via her writing style, tone, and storyline.  Time does flow without breaking and jumping ahead or stagnating.  This novel had a very mellow pace.  I did, however, find that this lead to the story lagging at times.  Even though there was a great deal going on in the story, I found that it meandered somewhat.   Williams develops her characters into individuals who fit where and when they live as well as their backgrounds, without simply being a stereotype.  I found I could form an emotional attachment to some of the characters, while others remained aloof.  The prim and proper demeanour of the main character shines through the author’s writing.  I enjoyed how the main characters were well developed individually before they ever met.   As a whole, the characters in this novel lived the adventure of a lifetime.  It was an intriguing look at the railway expansion into the western frontier.   Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.