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The Horseman's Graves by Jacqueline Baker
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The Horseman's Graves (2007)

by Jacqueline Baker

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This is a novel about immigrant German families in the early 1900s in the Prairies. We see the practical-mindedness and fortitude, the superstitions and ghosts brought from the old country to the new.
I appreciated the complexity and unrelenting weight of circumstance that kept building throughout the novel, the layering of interwoven stories, the nuanced description of the Prairie landscape that colours events. Baker's focus is both close--we hear the thoughts of a boy confused by adult subterfuge--and sweeping. At times the community speaks in a dialogue of several voices.
This an accomplished and complex novel. I look forward to reading this author again. ( )
1 vote brocade | Aug 11, 2013 |
A tragedy story, about German immigants to Saskatchewan around Leader area. Talks of the sand hills and Estuary . The Ddand hills are still there, but the town of Estuary is only three abanded houses and neighbouring is a Huduright coloney . Still the main farmers are German 3rd & 4th generation . This book is very interesting , tells of the fears of a people in a new country. What they bring , faith and work habits , family's and neighbours. ( )
  donagiles | Jul 30, 2012 |
This is a story that takes place in Southern Saskatchewan approximately in the 1920s. A small rural town with a Catholic church as its centre and German immigrants as its inhabitants. The people are poor, the town is isolated and the citizens live a life of Christianity mixed with old-country superstitions. This tale of a town focuses mainly on two families, both outcasts from the others for very different reasons. The narrative switches focus from main character to main character propelling the story along quickly. Ultimately this is a tale of loneliness, superstition, coming of age, murder and love.

This is a difficult book to summarize plot-wise as the plot unravels layer by layer and there is no way to talk about it without giving away spoilers. My opinion, on the other hand, is easy to summarize. I absolutely loved it! One of the best books, I've read this year. The story and the characters are haunting, the plot is many layered but it is the characterization that propels the story along. Nothing can compare to living on the desolate prairies in the early 1900s and to see how the early settlers, especially the women, managed and survived, though not always happily, makes for a riveting read. There are always eccentric characters found in this type of setting and many abound in this book. Baker's characters are full of life and all of them, nice and nasty alike, are developed to a point where they are real people with actions one can understand and showing feelings with which one can sympathize. These characters will haunt me for a very long time. This is one I plan on reading again someday and I greatly look forward to reading her next book. Highly recommended! ( )
3 vote ElizaJane | Aug 10, 2008 |
Heartbreaking story on many levels and the writing was absolutely beautiful. Full review at http://www.canadianauthors.net/b/baker_jacqueline/horsemans_graves_the.php ( )
  ripleyy | Apr 19, 2007 |
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