by Pam Ripling
Books have always been a big part of my life. As a young child, my favorites were always Little Golden Books, about Poky Little Puppy, Saggy Baggy Elephant, Shy Little Kitten, Tawny Scrawny Lion, etc. I had quite a collection. But when I really began to read, I lost myself in Hardy Boys and Louisa May Alcott. My favorite Alcott novels were EIGHT COUSINS and LITTLE WOMEN.
Whenever I think back to the book that most sticks in memory, I think of MRS. MIKE: THE STORY OF KATHERINE MARY FLANNIGAN, by Benedict and Nancy Freeman. First published in 1947, this is the story of a Canadian Mountie’s wife and the trials and tribulations of living in the frosty, harsh northern territories. A quick search on-line will reveal that I am far from alone in my love of this book.
The book takes place in the early 1900’s. The protagonist, 16 year old Katherine Mary O’Fallon, travels from the “warm” and comfortable Boston to Alberta, Canada, and marries Royal Mounted Police sergeant Michael Flannigan. The hardship and troubles they experience make for a poignant, entertaining story of life without transportation, medicine, electricity or telephones. The thing I remember the most about this story is that Katherine, who suffers devastating losses over the years, learns from other Canadian women to define segments of her life as separate lifetimes, or “families,” even though she remains married to the same man. Can’t say more without spoiling.
I read this book when I was around 13 years old, but I would recommend it for anyone from around 12 and up!
Pam Ripling is the author of middle-grade mystery, LOCKER SHOCK! Buy it at Quake, Fictionwise or Amazon today! E-book version now available for your Kindle! Visit Pam at www.BeaconStreetBooks.com.
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