September Wind is a story about a young girl with a yearning so great that even the worst of obstacles do not dampen her spirit. Even through many of her losses, there is something magical as we follow her journey.
Wise beyond her years, Emily has a fight that would make a burley man run, or at least should have. Yet, she is a gentle spirit who’s first love, in its beautiful yet sometimes awkward moments, will make us cry and take us back to our own.
We travel with her as she escapes across country on a train in search of the one person she hopes will embrace her and help her out of a terrible mess that could ruin her life for good. Nothing comes easy.
We become part of her world, and forget the troubles of our own. We watch her grow into a lovely young woman, and cringe when her backcountry lifestyle allows her into the Palace of lust, greed, deceit, and even murder, a place she hates, and yet is mesmerized by.
Precious moments throughout the book with those she barely knows, and those she comes to love will melt our hearts. There are times when we want to push her into another direction, and yet we want to stay with her to see where it all leads.
The night Aunt Francine died, Emily tearfully pictured herself with the men in a front row pew singing Amazing Grace with her mother, grandmother, and her aunt’s spirits there to help mend the family. Yet, when she mentioned having the service at a nearby house of worship, Grandfather’s response was a grunt and a look of horror.
Early morning on the day of her funeral, Grandfather and Claude left for parts unknown. Expecting them to show up for the service, Emily stood at the gravesite with her uncles, clutching a basket of flowers. She looked across the way to where her mother and grandmother lay, recalling how sad Grandfather was after Grandmother died. Yet, it wasn’t until his eyes fell upon his daughter’s grave that he completely fell apart.
“They’re not coming,” she said to Steven.
“Now how do you know that?”
“I just do. They’re not coming.”
He stood for a moment, looked up the gravel drive and then motioned to the minister to go ahead.
Following the service, she walked to where her mother and grandmother lay beneath rock headstones. It felt odd being there for the first time in more than fourteen years. As she stood at their feet with a breeze gently tossing her hair about, she felt their presence press against her chest, as if they were all sharing the sound of the rustling of the leaves, the fluttering of butterfly wings, and the swaying of the grass in the wind. The whole thing was uplifting, and she hung onto the feeling for as long as she could.
When it passed, she knelt at each of their headstones and left a bouquet of marigolds. She stood then and turned to look about for a glimpse of where Haity lay, wondering if she was next to her father who died a few years after his daughter. She wondered if they were even buried there.
“You ready to go?” Steven said, coming up beside her. He dropped his eyes to the graves of his mother and sister. They stood for a few minutes in silence, and then Emily followed him to the pickup.
“I’ll ride in the back,” she said, already climbing onto the footboard. She hopped in and positioned herself in a corner between the grocery bin and the side of the pickup. Steven sped off and she lifted her face, letting the wind brush against her cheeks and through her hair with its fingertips and sighs as it swept away again. She wondered where this invisible force came from and where it went. Whether it came back to touch those who lived as it had done so long ago tugging at her grandmother’s hair, and long before that her own mother’s. She wondered if those moments from the past were now part of her, and if their spirits were trying to tell her something by the unexpected stirring in her heart.
“When something touches you, my little Bella Bambina,” her grandmother used to say, “that’s the God of the universe trying to tell you something.” She always had those little notes of premonition. Like the casting of a shadow by a cloud over the sun, or the catch of a breath at the sight of a shooting star, or a sudden gust of wind that folds around you and then sweeps off in a hurry. She believed these things sometimes came to warn you, and other times she said, they come to sooth your soul and bring you hope.
Tears, warmed by the memory of those who had loved her, rolled down Emily’s cheeks. A soft wind came and whisked them away, perhaps to live in another day and another time.
Reader Reviews for "September Wind (Literary Fiction)"
Reviewed by Annette Engstrom
An amazing story of a young girls search for where she belongs, this story is proof that life does not make you a victim, you can make a choice to never give up. So descriptive that you can see, smell, and feel everything along with Emily. A must read for everyone.
Kathleen, you've got my attention in your excerpts! Your descriptions, wonderful and word pictures - great! Several lines lured me. I was right there with Emily. The lines that curled my toes were, "...she shivered, squeezing her eyes in an effort to lose the vision...she held her breath..." I was crouched right there with Emily, shrinking at the next move. Although, I'm envisioning something...it certainly sounds like a page turner to me. Great job!
Kathleen has a wonderful ability to draw word pictures of characters that bring them to life so that even the minor inhabitants of her book become real. She also uses the same brush to paint vivid pictures of her main character's emotions so that the reader is drawn in to her story, and pulled along unrelentingly by the desire to discover what the future holds for her.
Reviewed by Bethany Engstrom
This book is filled with painfully beautiful descriptions that take you to a different time and place. Many times, I felt as though I was walking with Emily on her journey, and experiencing her life. A roller coaster of emotions and a page turner all the way to the last chapter. I absolutely loved it! At the top of my recomendation list!