Rarely does a novel combine so many interesting, important topics so successfully while telling a story that leaves you feeling good. All Roads Lead Me Back To You by Kennedy Foster is a real find, a northwestern story with heart and substance. Kennedy Foster will be at Sunriver Books & Music January 16th at 5:00 PM, I believe you will enjoy her presentation immensely. All Roads Lead Me Back To You is set in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in Eastern Washington. Wild, open country with miles between neighbors, it possesses a lonely, quiet beauty. Alice Andison lives alone with her dogs and critters on the ranch she grew up on, her roots in that hard, lonely soil are deep. During a snow storm, the ranch is cut off from everyone, town miles away over snowed in roads. Her dogs alert Alice to an intruder, a rider-less horse. In that brutal weather Alice doesn’t think the chances are good that she will find the rider, even lower that the rider is still alive. Still she feels bound to go out into the teeth of the storm and search, just in case someone is injured and alone. Domingo Rogue is fortunate Alice had such a strong feeling for what is right, or surely he would have frozen to death. He is in rough condition. Alice brings the injured man back to her ranch and helps him thaw out. He starts to do chores around the place, repaying her kindness. There is a cultural chasm between the two characters roughly the size of the Grand Canyon. It is here the book picks up some real weight, in the interplay between two cultures with different belief systems and different chances in life. Domingo is at first suspicious of Alice, while he is grateful to her for saving his life, he has learned not to trust. He fears the immigration officers and a quick trip back across the border stripped of his beloved horse. Alice has stayed within the law; she has avoided employing illegal aliens and is not all that familiar with the tensions their lives hold. Running a ranch is brutal hard-work. Alice has been doing it on her own too long and it is taking a toll. She is saddled with a shiftless partner, Jerry Graeme, who provides the story with an evil villain. No help is forthcoming from him. Domingo’s help lifts a large burden from Alice’s shoulders; he is capable, kind to the stock, and hardworking. Hiring him as a ranch hand would make her life so much easier. Alice’s sister Janet teaches in the nearby town, she knows some of the pitfalls that could ensnare the employer of a Hispanic man lacking a legitimate green card. The interplay between the two characters as they form a friendship and begin to understand the challenges each faces, is priceless. The story lives here, in these two very different lives that are drawn together by chance, develop a friendship and cross that deep canyon to reach an understanding of what is important. Of course there is also the back story they bring. Alice’s nemesis is her evil partner; Domingo has some secrets of his own. Here are characters that feel real, they make the reader care what happens to them. The book is a pleasure to read, the northwestern setting familiar, and it got me to thinking about current issues in a new way simply by reading their enjoyable story. Spend an interesting evening hearing Kennedy Foster speak about All Roads Lead Me Back To You. We will have refreshments and drawings for prizes. Stop by, or call 541-593-2525 or e-mail email@example.com to sign up to attend. The event is free and will be fun! (booksense)
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