Monday, June 29, 2020

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Prairie Fever, by Michael Parker {ends 7/6}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Gus got up and went into his bedroom. He rooted around in his sock drawer, searching for his bandanna. Lorena’s letters were hidden there or, rather, stored there—he had no reason to hide them, at least until that moment, when he realized that they were on the opposite side of the drawer from they’d been that morning. (Gus was strongly right-sided and would never have hidden the letters on the left side of the drawer.) He doubted Elise allowed her students to wander about his house, but he knew that her lessons sometimes went over, as he had come home to find pupils sitting in his parlor, impatiently waiting their turn. It could have been one of them. He remembered going through his father’s drawers and finding, beneath his socks, a photograph of his mother and a purple felt box containing a wedding band with a tiny diamond. His mother’s, obviously. There was also a photograph of his father and Aunt Mattie atop a donkey, the river in the background. When his father left to find work in Charlotte, he took most of his socks but not the wedding ring or the photographs. Gus had brought them along with him to Lone Wolf. The only reason they were not hidden in his sock drawer (they were just below, in his underwear drawer) was because he took great pains not to be like his father.

While this book was somewhat historical fiction, the words used were what was important to the fictional Stewart sisters and Gus McQueen in telling their stories.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Prairie Fever, by Michael Parker {ends 7/6}
The Stewart sisters, pragmatic Lorena and chimerical Elise, are bound together not only by their isolation on the prairie of early 1900s Oklahoma, but also by their deep emotional reliance on each other. They’re all they’ve got . . . until Gus McQueen arrives in Lone Wolf.

An inexperienced first-time teacher, Gus is challenged by the sisters’ wit and ingenuity. Then one impulsive decision and a cataclysmic blizzard trap Elise and her horse on the prairie—and the balance of everything is forever changed.

With honesty, poetic intensity, and the deadpan humor of Paulette Jiles and Charles Portis, this novel tells the story of characters tested as much by life on the prairie as they are by their own churning hearts.

Reading Prairie Fever was reading about the Stewart sisters and Gus McQueen. While there are a few events in the book, the story was about the main characters’ perceptions of the events. Their descriptions were each unique, and sometimes beautiful. Unfortunately, it was somewhat redundant to read of the same event as it happened to three different people.

While the beginning of the narration felt unfocused, as the book progressed the style felt more like meandering prose and each narrator’s voice became more clearly developed. The word choices didn’t seem specific to the time period when the book was taking place, but they were pretty and sometimes thought-provoking.

This book would be good for readers who enjoy a slower paced book and colorful descriptions. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley likes reading, napping, playing Animal Crossing - New Horizons, and blogging at


Two of my lucky readers will win a copy of Prairie Fever!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, July 6th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Prairie Fever, by Michael Parker


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