Wyoming Book Reviews

Jul 15, 2019

With this edition of Wyoming Book Reviews, we’re discontinuing this feature. We’d like to thank all the writers who submitted their books over the last couple of years and all the Wyoming library workers who contributed reviews.

Joy that Long Endures
(Book #2, Irish Blessings Series)
Alethea Williams
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018

This book was beautifully descriptive and exciting. Williams’ characters were a finely-crafted and endearing cast of men and women trying to realize their dreams in the boom-and-bust mining towns along the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming’s early years.

Two Irish immigrants from New York — the charming, hard-working, Devin, and feisty, talented seamstress, Ailis — become embroiled in the West’s perils and opportunities For the enigmatic businesswomen, Dulcie Jackson and Xiang Ju, turning dust into gold among the busted minors brings unexpected love and more opportunities than their first homes could have offered.

An immersive experience in Wyoming Territorial history, the vibrant descriptions and language right out of the 1880s brings complex characters to life and makes the rough an’ tumble towns flow cinematically from the pages. The writing seems to have stepped straight off the stagecoach of a by-gone era, bringing unforgettable characters that stay with you long after turning the last page.

Angela Wolff, Reference Librarian
Laramie County Library System

A Divided Mind
Mary Billiter

Tangled Tree Publishing, 2019

With A Divided Mind, Billiter and her son, Kyle, work together to turn their real experiences into a fictional tale of a family dealing with mental illness. Tara, the mom, and her son Branson alternate chapters as they progress through realization, diagnosis, and the many events that are part of Branson’s illness. Tara’s worry, denial, and overwhelming guilt are written so well that you can feel her pain and frustration. Just as relatable is a high school senior whose ‘waves of static’ and ‘shadow people’ bring him to a caring specialist.  There is both strong language and aspects of Tara’s life which distract at times. However, you will not want to put this story down.  The cliff hanger ending disappointed me but, then again, mental illness has no set storyline for the patient or family.  It epitomizes “…to live life on life’s terms and not on our own” (Billiter).

Nancy Venable, Extension and Volunteer Services Manager
Campbell County Public Library

If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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