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One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow

A Novel
Narrated by: Jackie Zebrowski
Length: 19 hrs and 2 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

From the bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night comes a powerful and poetic novel of survival and sacrifice on the American frontier.

Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.

Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family - to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde - no longer a boy, but not yet a man - who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.

Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other - or else risk losing everything they hold dear.

©2019 Olivia Hawker (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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slow to go, but you wont want it to end.

what a lovely book, very deep, you really wont want it to end,or at least a sequel...

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Something different.

I've been totally immersed in the wilds of early America whilst listening to this book. The plot is so different from my usual listening (true crime, detective novels) and it has been a refreshing and engrossing change.
I can't fault the story, the plot or the performance, and I'm just sorry to leave these characters behind to get on with their lives without me. It's like I'm going home from a holiday and I won't be able to contact them again (because they don't have the internet on the wild open plains).
Thoroughly enjoyed and would heartily recommend.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-11-19

Mixed review

This book had beautiful prose. The descriptions of outdoors and nature, the sky, starlit or sunrise/sunset, used gorgeous words. Human nature was also succinctly described and showed a rare depth of understanding.
I am a fast reader, and I couldn't absorb the prose written in late-1800's vernacular, so I listened to much of the book. The narrator did a fine job reading until she got to the dialogue. Her voices for Beaulah and Clyde were very good. The voice of Nettie Mae was way too strident, making the character less likable. When reading Nettie Mae's thoughts and dialogue I had some empathy for her. Listening to the narrators depiction of her, she seemed less dimensional-- just a bitter, hateful woman. The voice of Cora made me cringe! It was horrible, vapid, falsetto fake. I swear my teeth hurt every time I heard the narrator recite Cora's dialogue!
The book was extremely slow reading. I was invested in the story so I stuck with it despite having spurts of irritation. I spent a lot of time looking up words that aren't used much today. This gave the book a feeling of authenticity, which I appreciate. I love reading stories set in the era presented in this book. I feel cheated by historical inaccuracies. Particularly when the characters have mindsets that people did not hold back then, or when they use tools that weren't yet invented at that time, or the fashions are off. I'm no expert on that time period though I do research situations and things that feel "off" in historical novels. I did no such research for this novel.
Overall, aside from the horrid narration on Cora's dialogue, the issues I had with the book are a direct result of some of the book's best qualities. I liked the metaphysical bent of the main character, and I liked the way the characters all became more self aware and showed personal growth from the story's beginning to the end. I have a stronger realization of how difficult life was back then, particularly for those who lived in The wilderness.
The author is obviously very talented! Still, the book is not an easy read or listen. It's very dense. If you like historical fiction that is accurate and poetic, I think you will like this book better than I did.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mel 123😊😂😄🐇👙
  • 20-10-19

So great to knit by.

When this story started, my daily chores came to an end. My whole being listened and I knitted to a remarkable story. The author wove a delicate story of human emotions. Well done!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AmazonCustomer
  • 17-10-19

Beautifully written

An absolute pleasure to read - reminiscent of Carson McCullers style. Storyline was original, fully developed, and very thought-provoking.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Terry
  • 31-10-19

A tell of two families

A shot sounds and in an instant two neighbors lose their husbands; only Clyde, a man of sixteen, is left to take care of the men’s work. The prairie is cold and unforgiving for those unprepared for winter. Cora must put aside her guilt and beg for mercy from her neighbor for surely her children wouldn’t survive the winter. A story of sin, hurt, anger and forgiveness.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diantha Roberts
  • 20-02-20

One of my favorites!

Beautiful prose. Beautiful dialogue and story. I felt so incredibly lucky to be able listen to this story and feel not only connected to the characters as they grew, forgave and were forgiven, but also the land they were so attached to. Great book!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anycc
  • 11-02-20

Sigh

This novel wants to be so many things and it is not. This is no work of classic literature of the American West. I suggest reading Annie Proulx, Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry... As a previous reviewer said "A great book to hear while knitting". If that doesn't sway you one way or the other...

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susanne
  • 12-11-19

Engaging Story & Performance

Enjoyed very much! The character Beulah was excellent - carried the few weaker story elements.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tonya
  • 30-10-19

Addictive

What a wonderful mix of mystic and wonder!!! I love how the characters are portrayed and how the book unfolds! The characters grow and develop throughout the book to a satisfying ending that leaves the reader with hope and fulfillment!!!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David and Nichole Dillon
  • 27-10-19

Excellent book

This book seems long at first. The story is told in a beautiful artistic way. All characters come to life with an emotional understanding. The moral fiber is strong and prevails. Christian values. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lisa - Your Solutions
  • 26-10-19

Loved the snippet of time

The varied descriptive words encapsulated me. I felt the prairie winds, and I smelled the earth. It was as though I was in each characters head experiencing their moments. I highly recommend this book as a get away from our busy life to remember there used to be a lot more physical work to do. We do not have it so bad.

1 person found this helpful