Friday, January 4, 2013
Caroline Starr Rose’s May B., a historical fiction novel in verse, is set on the Kansas prairie during the time of horse drawn wagons and pioneering days. May’s parents send May miles away to the Oblinger’s homestead to help out Mr. Oblinger’s new bride and to help her own family by bringing in some money. May is promised that she will only need to stay until Christmas. May wants so badly to attend school like her brother, Hiram. Despite reading being difficult for her, May is determined to overcome any obstacles and doubts to become educated. Mrs. Oblinger is just a little older than May herself and is extremely depressed, being isolated on the homestead is not what she had anticipated when she married. When Mr. Oblinger leaves the farm to find his wife who is determined to leave town, May finds herself stranded and alone in the harshest of wintery conditions with little food or warmth for weeks on end. When the food runs out and she becomes snowed in, she must make some tough decisions. This novel made me reflect on current stories of individuals who have lost their lives when stranded in harsh snowy conditions despite our new technological advances. Rose capture’s the isolation and unforgivable conditions of frontier life, as well as our human need to survive.