My Belated Gift
I finally located my sister's Christmas gift for me. Because it did not come on time, ahead of Christmas, I was alerted to the fact that I was not getting my regular mail. Recent changes in our mail delivery left our small hamlet getting it's mail out of roadside boxes. There was a long row of them on the edge of the church parking lot in front of the school.. I had signed for one and I got some junk mail but when my sister's present did not show up on time, as it always did, I contacted Canada Post to have them look into it. To make a long story short (which seems to be a problem for me these days) the mail was there all along in a post box assigned to me. Unfortunately, they gave me a key and a box number which was not mine. It seems there was some confusion over the 911 number for my property, which the post office has come to use as an address. It is 247 but they had a box for me at 274, which is a property that does not exist. Well! I finally got the mail and all seems right with the postal deliveries once again.
The novel below is my sister's Christmas gift for me. It came with another book, which I already have. (I will be holding on to it so I might pass it forward as a gift for someone who would really appreciate it.)
"The Purchase" by Linda Spalding
"In 1798, Daniel Dickinson, a young Quaker father and widower, leaves his home in Pennsylvania to establish a new life. He sets out with two horses, a wagonful of belongings, his five children, a 15-year-old orphan wife, and a few land warrants for his future homestead. When Daniel suddenly trades a horse for a young slave, Onesimus, it sets in motion a struggle in his conscience that will taint his life forever, and sets in motion a chain of events that lead to two murders and the family's strange relationship with a runaway slave named Bett.
Stripped down and as hard-edged as the realities of pioneer life, Spalding's writing is nothing short of stunning, as it instantly envelops the reader in the world and time of the novel, and follows the lives of unforgettable characters. Inspired by stories of the author's own ancestors, The Purchase is a resonant, powerful and timeless novel"
It is an interesting aspect to Canadian literature that an American can move to Canada and write a novel loosely based on her family heritage at the end of the 18th Century in the mountains of Pennsylvania and Virginia, that we honour it as Canadian literature. We are a nation of immigrants and all our stories go into the mix. Linda Spalding
is as well respected author living in Toronto. She most recently won the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her "contribution to the Canadian literary community"
I look forward to reading this novel, although I am not generally a big reader of novels. A few years ago, a fellow blogger got me interested in Appalachian literature (novels) My years in the US made be well aware of the literary tradition of New England but I was unaware of Appalachian literature as a genre. If I thought about it at all I would have wondered if those mountain people could even read , let alone write wonderful literature. :) I have since broadened my horizons and read several piece of Appalachian literature by difference authors. It is great. I mention this because my brief look at this novel my sister has sent made me think it might be classified as Appalachian literature. There seems to be parallels in setting and themes. I look forward to reading it with an eye to this.
Also, I am interested in that fact that this is a Quaker story. I have long been interested in the Quakers
groups of the Left Wing of the Reformation and their contribution to American history and culture. If I had not been drawn to the uniquely American religion, Unitarianism
, (with some roots in the Radical Reformation) I might well have joined the Quakers.
This novel will be a lighter and more pleasurable read than Bloodlands
, which I previously mentioned I was reading. I shall be reading both of them intermittently as my mood dictates.
Here is Heidi napping, of which she does a lot. I find it amusing that she love to have a pillow to rest her head on.
A close up view of Heidi wonderful head. Oh! that life should be so peaceful.
Here are my other companions. In my home cats get no name. They may be called Mother Cat, if they fulfilled that role ever, or just kitty. Each relates to me differently as a result of their history. Two are very affectionate and like to be in contact with me. One is a little shy and the Mother Cat tolerates me but is not shy..
Life is quiet around here these days Reading and enjoy other's company interspersed with trips to the basement for wood to feed the stove, in consort with the Weather (It is mild today, hence less wood)..