Bleeding Kansas

Bleeding Kansas

eBook - 2008
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Set in the Kaw River Valley where Paretsky grew up, Bleeding Kansas is the story of the Schapens and the Grelliers, two farm families whose histories have been entwined since the 1850s, when their ancestors settled the valley as antislavery emigrants. Today, the Schapen family, terrified by the lawlessness of the 1970s, when Lawrence was the most violent college town in the nation, has turned to that old-time religion for security. The Schapens keep a close eye on all their neighbors, most especially the Grelliers. They maintain careful track of everyone's misdeeds, printing the most egregious on their family website. When Gina Haring, a Wiccan, moves into an empty farmhouse and starts practicing pagan rites, the family members are so outraged that they begin an active harassment campaign against the Wiccans. The Schapens worry, too, about who stands better with the Lord, their family or the Grelliers. When a Schapen cow gives birth to what may be a "Perfect Red Heifer" needed if the temple is ever rebuilt in Jerusalem, the Schapens feel convinced that God is indeed smiling on them. Despite parental cautions, the Grelliers' teenagers are enraged by the Schapens. All their short lives, they and the Schapens have fought. One particularly angry confrontation causes Chip Grelier to be expelled from schoool and consequently to join the army. Chip's death in Iraq is the catalyzing event for momentous changes in the lives of not only both the Schapens and the Grelliers but of all the families in the valley. The powerful, climactic scene at Gina Harrig's Samhain bonfire will forever haunt the reader.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2008
ISBN: 9781429591690
1429591692
9781429591669
1429591668
9781101211922
Characteristics: xii, 431 p. ; 24 cm

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c
cmb8
Jul 14, 2014

hard to get into

extraterrestrial_beings Feb 01, 2012

It was interesting but a little to sketchy for me, but the structure of writing was pretty nice.

l
lpreston214
Nov 03, 2011

In the 1800s three families, Schapen, Grellier and Freemantle worked together and helped each other as they struggled to settle Kansas farmland. 150 years later, the Freemantles are gone and Schapens and Grelliers hate each other with savage venom. Enter, Gina, a Feemantle from New York to stay in the ancestral mansion, trying to pick up the pieces of her life in the city. What follows is a crazy and sometimes heart wrenching series of events. From manic/depressive Susan Grellier and her son's death in Iraq to Wiccan Gina and her pagan rituals to a holy calf being raised by Schapens and their fundamentalist church. All comes to a frenzied head on Halloween night. No one escapes tragedy as religious fervor, ignorance and fear drive people to commit heinous acts. All of the characters in this character driven story are flawed and search for truth and meaning to their lives. A great read.

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