Set in the hardscrabble landscape of early 1900s Oklahoma, but timeless in its sensibility, ‘Prairie Fever’ traces the intense dynamic between the Stewart sisters: the pragmatic Lorena and the chimerical Elise. The two are bound together not only by their isolation on the prairie but also by their deep emotional reliance on each other. That connection supersedes all else until the arrival of Gus McQueen.
This story is charming, sad, and written with great insight into the human condition. Its storyline has been told many times before and here with good heart. It touches the many aspects of the human psyche. We have two teenage sisters, Elise and Lorena in the wilds of Oklahoma in the early 1900s. One of the ways of improving their journey to school is memorizing the contents of the Kiowa County news and discussing the items.
Author Michael Parker gives us a backstory to the two girls and their very different take on the world around them. The world through the eyes of these girls is so down to earth and yet touched with the supernatural in an extraordinary way. Hello, horse! Gus McQueen is the school teacher, new to the class and not very well thought of by the guys in particular. His background is wonderfully told and you begin to understand his heart and mind.
Basically, it’s a wonderful love story between the three central characters and Parker puts worlds of experience into the telling of the story. The other characters and locales are well-drawn and told with brutal truth that lays bare the mind and soul that put it all together. I loved this book, it is a keeper and I will read it again and again and you should too!
Available in bookstores May 21st