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The Jump-Off Creek by Molly Gloss
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The Jump-Off Creek (1989)

by Molly Gloss

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2811160,663 (3.95)37

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» See also 37 mentions

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I loved this book, and it's by an Oregon author! This is the story of a woman homesteader, Lydia Sanderson, who is trying to create a home in Easter Oregon in the 1890's. She is a widow, escaping what seems to have been a loveless past, with no desire to remarry. Gloss appears to have done a lot of research, including with her own great-grandmothers, and the story feels very real. Life was hard work, with very little time for any luxury. (I ended up really appreciating my house, with heating and plumbing and a floor. )

Gloss also shows the poverty of her characters inner lives. They all had hard childhoods, and grew up with a limited emotional range -- but still with a human need to connect. The two main characters, Lydia, and a nearby rancher, Tim Whiteaker, develop a relationship of sorts, and throughout the book struggle to discover what they mean to each other.

This is a short book, and Gloss uses spare, carefully considered language to great effect. This simplicity reflects the homesteading reality and keeps the reader in Lydia's reality. ( )
1 vote banjo123 | Nov 27, 2016 |
p. 36/186
An important book, but, to me, a totally uninteresting one. Sorry.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Spare prose and writerly style give this slight story of a pioneering woman homesteading alone in Oregon some real staying power. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
1890 female homesteader... ( )
  addunn3 | May 6, 2010 |
a really good story. she says it's about her grandmothers so we wonder if there is a union. seems to be a realistic portrayal of pioneer life. you don't hear about pioneer oregon much. ( )
  mahallett | Nov 1, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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For my Great-Grandmothers-- Molly Mizell Donaldson 1875-1944, Miles, Texas Emma Castle Hurlburt Bettey 1862-1924, Walla Walla, Washington Nancy Kerr Lovelace 1853-1938, Irion County, Texas Lena Meyers Remlinger 1860-1930 Fort Vancouver, Washington--Westering Women, All
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6 April Bought the black hinny Mule today, $18, also the spavint gray as my money is so short and I have hope he will put on wt, his eyes are clear w a smart look in them and his feet not tender.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618565876, Paperback)

A reading group favorite, The Jump-Off Creek is the unforgettable story of widowed homesteader Lydia Sanderson and her struggles to settle in the mountains of Oregon in the 1890s. “Every gritty line of the story rings true” (Seattle Times) as Molly Gloss delivers an authentic and moving portrait of the American West. “A powerful novel of struggle and loss” (Dallas Morning News), The Jump-Off Creek gives readers an intimate look at the hardships of frontier life and a courageous woman determined to survive.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:03 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Lydia Sanderson writes about her life on Jump Off Creek in the higher mountain country of Oregon in 1895. She tells of friendship, loss, daily struggles, and achievements.

» see all 2 descriptions

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