Terror of hired hands

3759007Years ago there was a children’s book, Flossie and Bossie, about two Bantam hens, the good, drab one, Flossie, and the mean, beautiful, vain Bossie. And their transforming friendship. I remember it as pretty gripping.

imagesHowever there was a spook element for me in this drama of the hen house. Major figures are the hired hands, who I believe don’t have names. See the black and white illustration by the great Garth Williams (he also did  E.B. White’s children’s books). Only hands. Never a body. Somehow these “hands” walked, talked, thought, ate. So of course I was spooked, especially when it turns out they lived in a house which first Flossie and then Bossie visit. A special house built for hands?  What did their chairs look like? Did they sleep in hand-beds? Was the boss a regular person or was he a hands-only being too? It’s the sort of thing to keep a kid up at night.

 

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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