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Julia and her sister, Stella, are returning to their childhood home, Maiden Run, where their elder brother, Tom, and his wife have called them to make a final decision about possibly losing the farm they love. It's a tough decision as the farm just isn't running enough of a profit to live. The plot involves some tender memories and love of the land that seem to be rapidly disappearing in the newest generation's yearning for malls, expressways and even the wealth stemming from the discovery of gas and/or oil
Julia's sister, Stella, represents the bohemian generation of the 60s, yearning for artistic fulfillment and rebelling against anything slightly suggestive of tradition and less than modern way of living. The plot pivots back and forth between the pre-WWII years, the war and the decades following up to the late 1960s. Central Ohio may not be as fast and focused as New York City and other well-known metropolitan areas but it's ripe for development. The vision of those who desire Maiden Run knows no limit beyond its self-absorbed, greedy plans.
As we learn about the Adams siblings, the reader also meets Stella's friend who has tendencies way beyond those acceptable in this bucolic village and whose behavior provokes threats of revenge for momentous choices made by the siblings. A lovely sub-plot looms below the surface of the land's value as a former Native American tribal ground, and this inclusion adds potency to the natural love of the land that Julia, her father, Tom and his bride-to-be strongly sense and defend when the vultures descend.
Maiden Run is a finely-written, poignant story that develops slowly, interlaced with artistic depictions of the landscape that one can appreciate with all five senses through vicarious imaginings. It's a story of a bygone era, where family connections rule the day and immersion into one's environment is an all-powerful, symbolic part of one's maturation process. It's more about character and evolution than it is for empty, fast-paced action loaded with sex. It reminded this reviewer of the novels of Debbie Macomber and Linda Lael Miller, meriting praise for sure!
A charming, read, Ms. Cannon!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on July 1,2009