Book of the Week
July 10- 14, 2017
Jamey Grenville was in the habit of rescuing women. He stepped up to save a Pennsylvania farm when his future wife’s parents were killed in a tragic accident. He found a new home for his unmarried sister when a horrendous earthquake drove her from the family residence in Charleston, South Carolina. And he thought he had provided the perfect safety net for his eight daughters by bringing together a mother who loved them to distraction and a doting aunt to whom they could turn when they felt like running away from home. It might even have worked—if the two women had not been so very different.
Katerina was an outspoken Northern farm girl, whose talents ran to cooking, sewing, and taking care of everyone around her. Rebecca was a classic Southern belle, most at home surrounded by books and music. Katerina’s greatest wish for her daughters was that they all would find handsome and generous husbands who would take care of them and protect them for all of their lives. Rebecca wanted to see the girls grow up to be strong and independent women, capable of supporting themselves and playing an active role in the world around them. Katerina looked back longingly to a nineteenth century in which values were strong and safety was promised to all who followed the rules. Rebecca leaned into the new challenges of the twentieth century, believing in the promises of the future.
The stage was set for a lifetime of clashing values worthy of the feud of the legendary Kilkenny cats, who fought until there was nothing left of either one of them. Willingly or not, the two women lived in a rapidly changing world. Transportation moved from the horse and buggy to the Model T Ford, and dirt roads became paved highways. Family farms gave way to land speculators. Politicians quit arguing about government corruption and worried about prohibition and women’s suffrage. Uncontrolled financial panics yielded to governmental regulation. Social power fell from the wealthy upper crust into the hands of the middle class, and labor unions took control from monopolies. Trains, airplanes, telegraphs, and radio waves picked up the news from around the globe and brought it into once isolated homes. Assassinations, earthquakes, revolutions, epidemics, the sinking of an unsinkable ocean liner, and a war that killed millions of men demanded their attention.
Two women—tied irrevocably together by their love for Jamey Grenville and their devotion to his eight young daughters—battled the challenges, sometimes together, sometimes from opposite sides. But eventually those daughters grew up and spiraled away from the family center. The girls found their own husbands—a quiet schoolmaster, a coal miner, an ambitious farmer, a psychotic evangelist, a bootlegger, a stockbroker, a hardware salesman, an alcoholic newspaperman. They launched themselves on eight very different life paths, leaving their mother and their aunt at last with no one to lean on but each otherWhat Amazon reviewers wrote:
What Amazon reviewers wrote:
Tis the season to curl up on the sofa with an expansive, engrossing, family-centered read. And what better to pick up than Carolyn P. Schriber’s Yankee Daughters. The third in her trilogy of the Charleston Grenvilles, this novel finds the youngest son, Jamey, farming with his Mennonite wife in rural Pennsylvania. Maiden sister Rebecca joins him there after the devastating Charleston earthquake of 1886 makes the Grenville home-place uninhabitable.
Jamey and Katarina’s family of six daughters – all with unique personalities and interests -- find companionship and entertainment with their aunt Becca. In turn, she responds to their needs and finds a challenging career in writing for children. The occasional pages from her Journal bring a warm and intimate portrait of Jamey’s family. While Rebecca warms to her new career and models a proto-feminist view, Katarina struggles with rebellious teenage daughters. She stresses the importance of traditional marriage and housewifery, but finds such arrangements don’t always work out. In following Rebecca’s nieces, Schriber brings to life the dramatic changes that transformed American society in the early 1900s.
. . . Carolyn Schriber has done it again! With her masterful storytelling techniques and terrific research, she plunges the reader into the world she's created, taking you along for a ride into the lives and turmoil of her characters. A compelling read I had a hard time putting down!
. . . Having read with curiosity the first two books in The Grenville Trilogy, both set in South Carolina, I learned so much history of South Carolina, [Although I have lived in SC for almost 20 years, I was unaware of many of the historical events. I kept "googling" events with which I was not familiar, only to find them substantiated in fact.] I was anxious to read Yankee Daughters, set in Beaver County, Pennsylvania (another area where I have had the chance to live). The author clearly has researched the periods and geographical settings of her writing. The reader is transported in time and becomes intimately involved in the family dynamics and action.
The Kindle edition of Yankee Daughters is available for only $0.99 all this week. Order your copy here: