Nell Miggins is at a crossroads of her life. It’s 1910 and time to move on, to let go of Carrageen, the Texas cattle ranch she inherited from her father. Nell is no longer a young woman and life is passing her by. She’s done well, managing the ranch. She handles just about anything the ranch hands can and she’s tough. But there must be more to life and she’s determined to find it. Just what “it” is, she’s unsure.
Fitzjerrell spins a wonderful tale, a story that includes a dusty Texas ranch, the humid jungle of Mexico and a near-death experience at sea. Diverse personalities help spin this tale. Nell’s ranch hosts, in addition to the ranch hands already there, a windmiller, college professors, and a smelly cowhand with a bent for making wrong decisions. All the characters have a purpose, all add depth to the story.
The author, a life-long Texan, exhibits great passion for her state and her descriptions put me right there. I felt the dust creep under my collar, I gasped at the brilliant orange sunset, I shivered in the cold rain, I felt the weariness at the end of an exhaustive day. Fitzjerrell knows people and writes with compassion, heart and quiet humor. I loved this book. It has the earmarks of a classic and yet was only published in 2012. She speaks with authority on ranching and, surprisingly, on Mayan archaeology in Mexico’s steaming jungle.
The Dividing Season is a page-turner, but the reader doesn’t feel rushed. Fitzjerrell’s timing and pace are impeccable. We know her characters, we feel their pain, their joy, and, for some, their strength and determination borne of love for those who have become family.
I highly recommend The Dividing Season. The novel is available in trade paperback and e-book formats. To learn more about the author, visit www.karencaseyfitzjerrell.com