Friday, April 9, 2010

My Darlin’ Clementine

Kristiana, Gregory. My Darlin’ Clementine
Holiday House 2009 206p 21.95 978-0-8234-2198-5 elm/ms Starting with the folk song of the same title, Gregory has crafted an enjoyable work of historical fiction. A tale of family life, love, death and daring, set in an 1866 Idaho mining town. This fictional work is based on the folksong of the same title. Set in 1866 Idaho mine fields, the story opens with the disappearance of Clementine on her wedding day. Going back a year in her life, we are given a very good picture of life in a mining town. As her Pa slips into gambling and whiskey, Ma serves breakfasts and dinners to miners. The girls, Clementine and younger sister Josie help their Ma in the kitchen and with the other chores and go to school. Clementine dreams of becoming a doctor and is being courted by Boone. Tragedy strikes the family in the disappearance of Ma, and Clementine must decide how far she will go to save her family and follow her dreams. Does it include marrying Boone’s father in exchange for a promise to erase her father’s debts? The ending is a surprise twist. Well-written with several twists in the plot to surprise the reader. This historical fiction gives a detailed picture of frontier life in an 1860 mining town. Theal, Joan

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