Friday, September 10, 2010

Review of Ashes of Remembrance

Dear friends, I'm so sorry to have been so long between posts. One of my co-workers brought her sick child to the office because the daycare center has a policy of no sick children. We should adopt that policy for our office, because I succumbed to the viral infection the child left behind. Out sick for a week, and I'm still struggling to feel better. Always the optimist, this was a great opportunity to read, Ashes of Remembrance, the sequel to Only the River Runs Free by Bodie & Brock Thoene. Many of the same characters appear in this story, including Mad Molly, little Mary Elizabeth, along with main characters Kate Donovan, and Joseph Connor Burk. Joseph has reclaimed his rightful place in the community, and Chapter 1 opens with his wedding to Kate Donovan. Tragedy strikes when Joseph is arrested and falsely accused of treason before the end of the wedding reception! The evil Col. Mahon wants Burk property to graze his cattle. What better way to steal it than have Joseph hanged as a conspirator? A brief encounter in jail before Joseph is shipped off to Botany Bay leaves Kate carrying his child. In typical Thoene fashion, the history is factual, but, in my opinion, this one is much more brutal than their other writings. I still enjoyed this novel in spite of the gruesome details. After all, the mark of a good writer is when the reader experiences the book...smells the odors of the prison ship, feels the hunger pang of the prisoner who suffer from near starvation, dread the sinister shark's fin circling the skiff in the vast ocean near the southern tip of Africa. So, now I'm back from Galway, back from the sea voyage, back from another adventure in mid 19th century Ireland, only to wonder what happens next to Kate, Joseph, and the wee babe she carries within her. This gets another "Highly Recommended" from me!