Cindy Rinaman Marsch totally conveyed the courage of the homesteaders, and the lnterior of the shanty with its merge supplies. Any book that can get my mind so engaged in the story that I’m still pondering the ‘what ifs’ a day later, as this short tale did, is a well written and enthralling story.
I highly recommend The Blizzard, by Cindy Rinaman Marsch.
Having enjoyed this author's debut novel Rosette, inspired by a real-life journal, I was pleased to learn she had subsequently written a short sequel based on a single episode when Rosette is living with her son DeWitt, daughter-in-law Lillie and small granddaughter Floy in a tiny sod shanty in harsh prairie country. When a freak snowstorm descends unexpectedly just as DeWitt and nine-month-pregnant Lillie have started walking to the nearest town where she is to give birth, Rosette has to act fast to save her family.
The severity of the storn is life-threatening even for those indoors. We share Rosette's anxiety and fear as she battles for her family's survival. The author conveys very effectively the emotional and physical strains of living in such punishing conditions, which make one wonder how on earth any pioneer community survived long-term.
The details of Floy's relationship with all three adults in this claustrophobic home are painted sensitively and touchingly, as is Rosette's position in a household where she is less than welcomed by her daughter-in-law at least.
Like the author's first novel, this reminded me very much of Laura Ingalls Wilder's classic autobiographical tales, especially "The Long Winter", and renewed my admiration for the early settlers of North America.
Marsch has tapped into a rich seam and niche here, and is carrying it off with a pleasing balance of insight, compassion and fact. I hope there will be more to come, whether in quick reads. Like this one or full-length novels.