The Unplowed Sky

Jeanne Williams, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (307p) ISBN 978-0-312-11361-2
Williams (Daughter of the Storm) should widen her audience with her latest western romance, which boasts a realistic plot, sound characterization and effective use of historical detail. The Midwest wheat fields that cover the no longer unbounded prairie of the early part of the century are the backdrop for this tale of 19-year-old Hallie Meredith and her five-year-old half-brother Jackie, as she seeks work and shelter after being propositioned by her slimy employer. The siblings are haunted by experiences of abandonment: Hallie was bereft when her widowed father married a second wife, Felicity, and his death was the final blow. Felicity now has left Jackie with Hallie so she can remarry. A brighter future beckons when threshers Garth and Rory MacLeod hire Hallie as cookhouse help. But a crippling accident, dirty politics, complex rivalries and other circumstances threaten the threshing business as well as Garth and Hallie's budding love. Though hampered by an abrupt ending, this story of the simple pleasures and harsh realities of farm life is raised above formula by its winning depiction of a more innocent time. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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