Thursday, March 1, 2007

"Augusta Locke"

New in paperback this month: William Haywood Henderson's Augusta Locke.

From the author's website:

Henderson’s new novel tells of one woman’s troubled yet spirited life as she raises her daughter in the deserts and lonely ranges of Wyoming. Born in Minnesota in 1903, Augusta “Gussie” Locke moves with her mother to Colorado as a teenager. Distressed by her mother’s new husband, a man who wants to transform Augusta into an obedient daughter, Augusta runs off into the mountains, where a one-night stand with a young volunteer for the Great War leaves her pregnant. She heads north into Wyoming, and with her infant daughter Anne constantly in tow she works a long series of grueling jobs, from road crew and ranching to hauling supplies to the oil and mineral crews of the Great Divide Basin. As the years pass, Augusta wanders throughout Wyoming, abandoning people and places, being abandoned herself. Eventually, alone again, she settles in a remote cabin in the Wind River Valley, until years later her grandson and great-granddaughter seek to discover the woman behind the family myth.

Spanning the twentieth century, Augusta’s extraordinary challenges play out themes of love and loss, home and family, redemption and reconciliation. Redolent with myth, humor, strange landscapes, and stark reality, Augusta Locke is an indelible portrait of a woman who through great toughness of character blazes her own trail.
Bill applied the Page 69 Test to Augusta Locke last year.