Friday, April 16, 2010

Stay A Little Longer-Dorothy Garlock

Stay A Little Longer
Dorothy Garlock
Grand Central, Apr 30 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780446540193

In 1918 in Carlson, Minnesota, Alice Tucker gives birth to Charlotte with her sister Rachel Watkins as her midwife. Soon afterward Alice dies. Rachel knew she really died when her spouse Mason was killed in WWI; she loathes the dead man for deserting his wife.

By 1926, Rachel is bone tired as the town’s midwife, running her family's boardinghouse, caring for her drunk uncle and shell-shocked mom, and most important raising her niece, Charlotte. In a remote dilapidated cabin resides a scarred male. When Charlotte meets the sick man, she wants to help him. She persuades her Aunt Rachel to nurture him back to health. As he heals, he works as a handyman making repairs to the boardinghouse. Rachel and her grateful employee become friends as each appreciate the serenity the other brings. However, Mason’s affluent unscrupulous brother Zachary the banker covets the Watkins’ property and causes problems and ultimately a tragedy with his machinations, but also leads Rachel and the stranger to understand their relationship especially after the truth surfaces.

With a great late twist, Stay a Little Longer is an emotional profound Americana tale that focuses on the aftermath of WWI several years after the Armistice in a small town in Minnesota. The strong ensemble cast brings to life the era while Rachel holds the deep story line together. Although Zachary feels somewhat like a caricature of an avaricious banker (no oxymoron asides) such as an obese Snidely Whiplash, fans will relish this terrific historical.

Harriet Klausner

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