Hey Guys! Beulah Land by Nancy Stewart is so out of my regular genre, which is why I am so pleased today to recommend it. Nancy Stewart is an incredible writer. Her insight into the human spirit is relatable to anyone, no matter how far from the Ozarks you may be.
Beulah Land follows Violette and Junior, best friends tasked with saving the Sinclairs from a violent clan rivalry. When Dale Woodbine starts stalking Violette to her work as a vet, his words turn from insults to threats. Meanwhile, murmurs around town start attributing Dale with the death of Violette’s father.
Vi comes up with a plan: to catch Dale in an illicit dog-fighting ring and send him off to prison forever. To win her and Junior will have to gather information from the Sinclair clan leader who hates Violette for being gay, a mysterious but kind farmer, and Vi’s own mother. The secrets of the Sinclari family that hide the origins of Dale’s hatred, drawn into a complex chain of secrets all tied to Vi’s mother.
This book managed to draw me, a stay-inside-all-day bookworm, into the rugged world of the Ozarks. Beulah Land is tautly plotted and well written, managing to quell even my most inborn skepticism.
Violette Sinclair is an incredible woman (and protagonist). She perseveres against the violent homophobia she faces from the town. Yet, when her family is involved, even when they are unkind and homophobic too, nothing is able to stop Violette from protecting the people she loves.I cannot say enough about Violette’s all-in spirit. The loyalty that she shows to her family, even the ones who despise her, is unfaltering. That takes a giant store of courage and perseverance.
Furthermore, the relationships in this book are just so sweet to watch. Violette and Junior share a bond as best friends that partners them in the face of immense danger. Violette and her sister turn from rivalry to genuine love when Jessie begins to understand the sacrifices her older sister is making for her safety. Violette and her dog, Victory, have love made unbreakable by shared pain.
If mountain life isn’t your usual read, then maybe clan rivalry, dog-fighting, and vigilantism will be. This book inspired me and it was, not to mention, a beautiful read. I give this book a wholehearted five stars, and would recommend it to anyone who loves stories about brave young women and the ties of family.
I hope you all are having a wonderful Fall (it just started to get cold here in Virginia), and, as always,