Bleeding Kansas - Audio CD - Unabridged Author:Sara Paretsky, Susan Ericksen (Narrator) In Kansas, three families have coexisted not-so-peacefully for more than one hundred and fifty years: the Grelliers, the Fremantles, and the Schapens. Into their lives comes Gina Haring, a relative of the Fremantles who is house-sitting the derelict family mansion while she puts her own life in order. Her lifestyle and beliefs will put her at od... more »ds with her neighbors—and test the mettle of a community being swept up in events beyond its control.
Read by Susan Ericksen. 14 sound discs (ca. 17 hr.)« less
A strong, very well-written tale of multigeneration families in the heart of America. I found it compelling and hard to put down. A very real story with the strengths and weaknesses of these families revealed and no story-book ending.
When it reached a point low enough, I stopped reading/listening to it. I don't care what finally happened.. Knowing this author for the V.I. series, I can only guess at what her intention was in writing this bilk. Maybe she needed to get it out of her system. Like a black cloud, only sitting over your brain or something. Anyway, I did something I have never done before, I tossed the audiobook into the garbage.. ashes to ashes, etc...
I was very disappointed with this book. I have always enjoyed Sara Paretsky's writing; while I knew this one was going to be different, it fell short for me in many areas.
The farming aspect. for the most part, seemed to be well researched. The steps involved for organic certification seemed to be a great deal quicker than normal and I didn't understand why they were transplanting sunflowers when they do so well planted directly in the ground. This was odd enough to take me completely out of the story. As were a few comments made by characters early in the book.
The main problem, for me, was I just didn't like any of the characters. Susan was just too much of a manic-depressive and the kids seemed to be spoiled brats. Lara/Lulu had possibility, she was the reason I kept reading, but her age seemed to vary a good bit. And just when I would start to like her, she would do something incredibly stupid that would seem out of character. The Wiccan/witchcraft aspect was never really brought into the story and I was disappointed.
I might have been able to forgive the unlikable characters, but at the beginning of the book you meet so many characters and the point of view changes so much, I had to keep re-reading to make sure I was keeping everyone straight. I also kept expecting the characters to use cell phones or computers, as we were getting a fairly detailed account of their daily lives. However it isn't until the midway point that these modern tools make their way into the narrative. It really felt like the book covered several years, instead of months.
I visited Sara Paretsky's website and it told about how she came to write the book and it did make the book more interesting. While I'm glad I read it, I wish I hadn't picked it up on impulse and paid full price.
I don't know why I thought I would like this book because I don't like this author. However, since I live 50 miles from the location of the book and know the area well, I decided I just couldn't resist. I should have resisted. She made everyone who lives in Kansas look like a blithering idiot. We must either be religious zealots or anti-war, anti-government protesters. I absolutely could not finish it. I do not recommend this book as this is NOT what Kansas is about. It's a wonderful place to live and I wouldn't trade it for all the mountains and oceans in the world. Sorry, I just had to vent.
I have always loved Sara Paretsky's books but must admit this one was very different. I had a hard time getting into it, but I kept at it and am so glad I did. From about half way through, I couldn't put it down. I learned so much about the history of that part of Kansas, and the story and characters were woven through the history in such a way that you had to see how it ended. Definitely a good read.