THE BOOK: Adirondack Gold
PUBLISHED IN: 2003
THE AUTHOR: Persis Granger
THE EDITOR: Robin Granger
THE PUBLISHER: Self (Beaver Meadow Publishing)
SUMMARY: Hollis Ingraham, a young Adirondack boy of the 1890s is forced by his widowed mother’s poverty to go to live on the farm of grandparents he hardly knows, and who, he senses, do not like his mother. He strives to earn the approval of his seemingly angry grandfather by mastering chores on the farm, and, in the process, learns more about his deceased father and the cause of his grandfather’s bitterness.
THE BACK STORY: In the 1970s and ‘80s, my husband and I were subsistence farming on an old farm in the so”uthern Adirondacks, heating mostly with wood, growing large gardens and raising pigs, cows and chickens for family food. I thought about how much work it was for us even though using modern equipment, and marveled that farmers in the 19th century had done it – and more – with no chainsaws to cut wood, no central heat in bitter mountain winters, no freezer to store meat for the year, no tiller to turn the rocky garden soil, no pressure cooker to safely preserve meat and vegetables, no tractor or mower or baler to make hay. How did they do it? And how did they survive a serious illness or accident? I asked questions of older folks in the community, read memoirs and journals and soaked up local history. My admiration grew for those humble farm families of the past, and I wanted to share that proud history with youth of today whose roots reach deep into that tradition. I wanted them to understand the responsibility assumed by children early Adirondack family farms and to be proud of their heritage.”
WHY THIS TITLE?: Hollis is trying to find a way to raise money to help his mother so they can be reunited, and a legend of buried gold entices him to risk his life searching for it. After nearly losing his life in that futile search, he comes to understand that “treasure” has many definitions, and can be found right under one’s nose.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Adirondack Gold has fans in a wide age range. Children from 7 to 12 care about Hollis, and his adventures become their adventures. Adults, particularly senior citizens who remember the depression years in the Adirondacks, are touched by the authentic representation of life very similar to their rural childhood experiences. It’s history wrapped in an engaging story, peopled with characters with whom readers can relate.
“Adirondack Gold” offers enjoyable reading, the literary equivalent of the first maple syrup of spring or the first warm breeze after sub-zero weather….Except for the opening scenes, nearly all of “Adirondack Gold” is set in the town of Thurman….Although it and the surrounding country is remote, it has inspired at least four excellent writers: Jeanne Robert Foster, Paul Schaefer, Sue Halpern and Bill McKibben. Granger’s writing, vivid and full of verve, is in a league with theirs. She has the storyteller’s knack of pulling the reader into the story. She develops strong characters and captures the essences of Adirondack places…..Careful research makes the story believable… Granger includes vignettes to show the value of a strong work ethic, strong family bonds, good communication within the family and the destructiveness of prejudice. Even though “Adirondack Gold” was written for young adults, it transcends its genre. Strong writing and research makes it highly recommended for readers of any age who are interested in the Adirondacks, 19th-century New York history or rural life. (Excerpted from a review by John Rowen published in the Schenectady NY Gazette, March 2004)
I loved them (“Adirondack Gold” and its sequel, “A Summer of Strangers”) both. I spent all my childhood summer vacations on the other side of Crane Mountain on “Coulter’s Knob” off the Garnet Lake Road. Although this was the 1930’s, our farm must have been very similar to the ones in the books. At age 81, I was taken back to my childhood and loved every minute of the story. Thanks for your excellent writing. RS
I enjoyed this book more than any other I’ve read in YEARS!!!! I was completely transformed to this period in time and enthralled with the story. The setting is the Adirondacks in the 19th Century, and the characters and scenery come to life through the author’s talented words. The Christmas scene was so powerful I cried tears of joy. I’m giving it to my eldest daughter and my wife to read. Completely thumbs up. (Amazon review) A cleverly written novel that wraps the reader in the everyday existence of rural living in upstate New York at the end of the 1800’s. Through the clear prose of the author we get to share the hopes, joys, fears, and sorrows of a young boy growing up in that environment. Younger readers should also be able to easily relate to the coming-of-age realizations of the young boy. The well defined personality studies of the characters enhance the story, and the plot progression builds to an engrossing and satisfying resolution. (Amazon review)
AUTHOR PROFILE: Persis Granger has lived in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York for over 45 years and now divides her time between Thurman, New York and Trenton, Florida. She draws on her experience in subsistence farming for this book. Her log cabin home, built from scratch by Granger and her husband, Richard, stands at the base of Crane Mountain, where this tale is set. Both Richard and daughter Laurel contributed artwork to the book, and daughter Robin provided editing. Granger studied at the College of Wooster and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, earning a BA at the latter. She went on to earn a master of science in teaching degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Although “Adirondack Gold” is her first work of fiction, Granger edited and coauthored “Shared Stories from Daughters of Alzheimer’s: Writing a Path to Peace” (iUniverse, March 2003). “Adirondack Gold II: A Summer of Strangers” was published in 2008 and she has a contemporary novel in progress.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://www.amazon.com/Adirondack-Gold-Persis-Granger/dp/0974208507/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461705304&sr=1-1&keywords=Adirondack+Gold#reader_0974208507 (This is a link to Amazon’s “Search Inside the Book” – and I hope it takes you to the first page of chapter 1.)
LOCAL OUTLETS: Willows Bistro, 3749 Main St., Warrensburg, NY 12885; Some Favorite Things Gallery, 315 Old Corinth Rd, Hadley, NY 12835; Martin’s Lumber, 280 Valley Road, Thurman, NY 12885 WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: http://www.persisgranger.com/Books.htm – signature and/or message available; also, Amazon.com
PRICE: $9.95 + tax and shipping where applicable
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: PersisGranger@aol.com