The Fence My Father Built by Linda S. Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Fence My Father Built was an interesting look into a different lifestyle and culture pertaining to water rights, land ownership and Native American burial grounds. It read like a woman's fiction novel, which was probably the author's intent. The author also used pretty creative descriptions at times, almost giving the story a bit of a literary feel. Nicely written.
I enjoyed the parts of the story where Muri read the journal that her father had written in before he died. I also loved the whole situation with the artifacts and Muri trying to show that Linc was a scoundrel who didn't care about his neighbors at all. It almost made me feel like I was watching a movie or an old TV show where the current episode dealt with a confrontation between the good guy and the bad guy in a hick town with a hick lawyer and jaded citizens who were afraid of the crook, Linc.
Since I love romance, I would have liked to have seen more happening between Muri and Rubin, her neighbor who was also the local veterinarian. There was so much untapped potential there. Muri's friendship with Rubin could have helped her to heal from the sense of betrayal and unworthiness she received from her ex-husband who dumped her. Maybe this will be addressed in another book?
The characters were all quirky and different, as was the setting in general. If you love reading about dysfunctional families this one will speak to your heart. I recently read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie and some of the cultural stuff with Aunt Lutie and Uncle Tiny reminded me of that story.
I didn't get Muri's excessive outrage, but I did appreciate her heart for wishing she had known her father before he passed away. I also appreciated how this story showed that her father loved Jesus even though he couldn't kick the alcohol. That is a different scenario not typically found in CBA fiction, and had Joseph been a real person, I wouldn't doubt for a moment that he really did love Jesus, despite his weakness. In the end, I loved that Muri did feel like she had some peace inside once she had fully connected with the father she didn't really know or remember. That was poignant.
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