I picked up Thunder Beneath My Feet because Carolyn Mulford is a “local” writer, who lives in Columbia, Missouri. She’s a neighbor, almost, since Columbia is only 25 miles away from my home. I loved the story from the first page and spent most of today captivated by the adventures of a 14 year-old Missouri girl who had to grow up fast and work hard to keep her family safe during the terrible New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812.
Betsy Lawton is alone on the farm close to the town of New Madrid when the earthquakes begin. Her parents and older brother were supposed to be home in just a few days, but the quakes throw huge trees down across all the trails, change the routes of creeks and the mighty Mississippi River, and even create a new miles-long lake. Betsy doesn’t know if her parents are alive or dead, but as the weeks pass, and the quakes continue, she manages to keep the stock, and the little brother left in her care, alive and well.
I had, of course, heard about the New Madrid earthquake, but I didn’t realize it wasn’t just one earthquake. More than 2,000 quakes were recorded over a three month period, and at least three were major. I learned more about New Madrid in Mulfords book than a textbook could ever teach me, and enjoyed a rip-roaring good adventure story at the same time.
This novel is for all ages. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to recommend it to my teenage grandchildren.