The Reunion

Monday, September 15, 2014

Silver by Kristen Lynch

Set in the small mining town of Silver in the late eighteen sixties, the story concerns the adventures of-Adelaide Johnson. Addie grew up in the mid-west, traveling to Silver to search for her father who had arrived in town some time earlier, hoping to strike it rich. Her father died when his mine caved in. Addie inherits his silver mine. Even though she has no interest in being a prospector, she falls in love with the town and decides to stay.

She becomes the teacher for the town’s school and, as the book opens, has taken a second job as a reporter for the local newspaper, writing a column about the citizens of the town and current events. The town’s sheriff, Dan Forrester, falls in love with Addie, and, even though she does not return his feelings, he becomes her special friend and protector.

The reader is treated to a light-hearted look at the activities in the town− the fourth of July festivities, dances, book clubs, and musical events. We read about the pompous mayor, the blacksmith, the owner of the dry goods store, and the miners. We learn about crime – fighting, drinking, prostitution, even murder. While a western mining town might seem to be far removed from large cities in the East, if it happened in the East, it happened in Silver.

The story is written in the style that one might have expected to find in a book written in Addie’s time. The language and the phraseology are those of that period, rather than of the twenty-first century. Addie’s newspaper columns, for example, sound exactly like the narrative, itself. The style is unusual, and it contributes to one’s enjoyment of the book. The author manages to present events in a rather lighthearted fashion, with the result that, even though some very tragic events occur, the story is a joy to read.

I thoroughly enjoyed Silver. The writing was good, the dialogue was convincing, and the story was entertaining. Good book!

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