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The Children's Blizzard (2021)

por Melanie Benjamin

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Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Based on the actual tragic blizzard of the late 1880's, the plot of this book was interesting. However, the writing style lent itself more to skimming than reading every word. Several characters take center stage: two sisters both working as young school teachers not much older than their pupils, a young mother who would rather be in Minneapolis than the prairie, a young girl who was "sold" by her own mother to work in the home of another, a journalist from New York who has been sent to the midwest to write glowing stories of the beautiful prairie, and a black man who owns a tavern. Part of the problem might be that there are two many characters to successfully tie together.

I did enjoy the ending of the book which projected far in the future to see what happened to the sisters. One sister who was always the leader winds up in disgrace for her handling of the students, and the younger one becomes a hero. Wish I had liked it better. Almost written as it could be a young adult novel.

The scenes of the blizzard seem realistic ( )
  maryreinert | Jun 10, 2021 |
The blizzard of January 12, 1888, which swept across the Great Plains of southeast South Dakota and Nebraska, was a sinister and cruel storm. After so many bitingly cold days, this one started out with a reprieve in temperatures and winds. Just as the school day was coming to a close, Mother Nature unleashed her fury and slammed the land and all there upon it, throwing every creature into a hellish storm. This is the story of the people of those lands and the hardships which they endured in everyday living. It is also about the young teachers who had to make the difficult decisions to either send off their charges with the hope that they'll beat the storm and make it home safely or conversely decide to hold them at the school until it was safe to leave. This was a heart-wrenching tale which begged to be told.

Author Melanie Benjamin has exquisitely crafted a moving tale of this horrific storm and those who endured it. The storm event described is of a real moment in history. Ms. Benjamin wove the narratives of several protagonists who were derived straight from her imagination yet were also loosely based on real people who lived through this historic event. Her character development is wonderfully formed and her scene settings rather cinematic. One feels the sting of sleet pummeling an unprotected face as they struggle to catch their breath in a 60 mile-an-hour biting wind. The burn of frostbitten nose and ears is searingly painful and the loss of a loved one caught out in the storm causes an inconsolable ache to the heart. It was easy to be caught up into this story as the delivery of it was beautifully rendered. Well done Ms. Benjamin! ( )
  KateBaxter | May 26, 2021 |
It's a warm spring-like day on January 12, 1888, in the Dakota Territory. There has been a log, cold spell and today was welcomed by most school children wearing lighter clothes. Little was known about weather forecasting but a brutal storm was headed their way.

Two very young teachers, Raina (16) and her sister, Gerda (18) Olsen, have to make important decisions about the children when the storm hits during the afternoon. They are teaching in different areas of the Dakota Territory but all will experience hardships with pain and fear.

This novel is dark and sometimes troubling. Melanie Benjamin does a great job of portraying the innocence of the children, the relationships between the teachers and the children, the side stories involving households, parents, and various personalities. It all seemed so real to me and I didn't want to put the book down. I never lost my interest and can't wait to read another novel by this author. ( )
  pegmcdaniel | Apr 16, 2021 |
The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin tells a fictionalized account of a deadly storm that hit the plains states in 1888. Within the context of this storm, this book paints a picture of a time and a place. Ultimately, the book is also the story of women and the men in their lives. Given the wide net the book casts, there are a lot of characters and stories and a bit too much going on.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2021/04/the-childrens-blizzard.html

Reviewed for NetGalley. ( )
  njmom3 | Apr 4, 2021 |
Seeing that it's about lots of children dying in an epic blizzard, I shouldn't say this was a fun page turner, but it really was. It was compelling historical fiction with some good characters. I knew a bit about this topic, a blizzard in 1888 that popped up unexpectedly on the Nebraska plains, right as schools were letting out. The teachers, usually 15 or 16 year old girls, had to make hard decisions about how best to help their students survive.

The day of the blizzard was the first warm day after a below zero cold snap so everyone was out. People went to towns to stock up on supplies and children went to school dressed for weather in the 30s. In the afternoon, this blizzard popped up with no warning and hundreds of people died in the storm. Teachers often couldn't just wait out the storm in their school houses, because they were shacks with no insulation and not enough fuel. When school houses were damaged or collapsed, teachers had to try to get the students to safety. Some of these teachers made good decisions and some did not. This book focuses on two sisters teaching in different areas of the midwest and their success and mistakes.

Benjamin does a great job creating memorable characters and both describing the storm and its aftermath. She also focuses on the fact that many of these farmers on the plains were immigrants and explores the immigrant experience.

I really liked this. It's a fast read, not great literature, but a great story.

Original publication date: 2021
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: library kindle
Why I read this: topic caught my eye ( )
  japaul22 | Apr 3, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
You can publish this in a mobile app so a lot of readers can see your lovely work. Check on NovelStar and see how other writers earn by pursuing their passion in writing.
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