One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Five stars – that means “it was amazing” on Goodreads. I have given out a lot of of 5 star reviews, so when something really amazing comes along there are no higher awards to show how wonderful it really is. One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow is so much more than most novels. The basic story is simple enough. Two families, two farms, live within sight of each other and twenty miles from any other neighbor on the Wyoming prairie in 1876. Ernest Bemis, out looking for a lost calf, comes upon his wife and his neighbor lying together on the banks of the river. Outraged and heartbroken, Ernest raises his rifle and kills his neighbor as the man growls a curse and tries to pull his trousers up. Then Ernest rides the twenty miles to town and turns himself into the sheriff.
It’s a tragedy for both families. Nettie Mae’s husband is dead. Cora’s husband is in jail. And the two women are left on the prairie with farms to take care of, children to feed, no man to help either of them, and a Wyoming winter coming soon. The two women have never really been friends, and now they both have every reason to avoid each other. But for the sake of the children, they are willing to do almost anything. The prose is beautiful, transporting the reader to the place and time. Perfect ending. This is my first Olivia Hawker novel. I will look for more.