As a family historian, I love learning about ancestral lives. Delving deep into the decades, I experience (albeit vicariously) my predecessors’ ups, downs, and moments between. I then take their stories and share them with others, hoping that with each word I write, a part of them lives again (at least in our hearts).
Author Olivia Hawker did the same when she wrote One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow. Based on her own family history, this novel tells the tale of the Bemis and Webber families, the only settlers living within miles.
The book begins in the summer of 1876 when father Ernest Bemis shoots his neighbor Substance Webber for fooling around with his wife. Remorseful, Ernest then mounts his horse and rides to town, several hours away, to turn himself in for murder.
With Substance in the grave and Ernest behind bars, Nellie Mae Webber and Cora Bemis must save themselves and their children by banding together to survive the harsh Wyoming winter. But will these women be able to overcome their anger and shame to team up or will their emotions tear them apart?
Caught in the middle are teenagers Clyde Webber and Beulah Beamis, who are forced to grow up fast to ensure their families’ survival and help forge forgiveness.
Told from the varying perspectives of the four main characters, One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow dives so deeply into the world around them that something as insignificant as a speck of dust suddenly seems much, much more. Through their eyes, I could almost sense the formidable frontier, sprawling endlessly beyond the page. A hidden gem, One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow is engrossing and eloquent… a must-read for history lovers, genealogy aficionados, or anyone who enjoys a great story.