Another great book review by Jamee Larson about a fantastic publication on rural life: "Winters Almost Gone: Summer’s Coming On", by Elaine Babcock; from Knuckledown Press. Buy the book, or check out a sample at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145021
As a product of the Dakotas, Elaine Babcock has spent a lifetime interpreting the world through her surroundings. In Winters Almost Gone: Summer’s Coming On, she invites the reader into that world with a literary style that is as intricate as it is concise. What is abundantly clear throughout her essays is her deep and profound respect for the Midwest. In the essay “Seasons Are a Mystery” she writes, “How can anyone live through a Dakota winter to see the wonder of spring and not believe in God?” Throughout the collection, Babcock makes similar references to the miraculous appearance of the Dakotas and it is that appreciation and humble reverence that will strike a chord with readers. In the essay “Hope is Spelled S-E-E-D” she writes, “Spite of past failures, I will plant again this spring, because planting is claiming hope in God’s promise that life will go on in the Dakotas.”
Initially written as a series of opinion articles for the Aberdeen American News, Babcock displays an innate ability to capture the essence of Midwest living. Whether taking her readers on a trip to a local auction or sharing private experiences about love and loss, Babcock’s essays are full of honest and insightful observations. Her personal essays are especially poignant and powerful. There are instances when Babcock’s tone strays toward the didactic, but in each case, she manages to reign in her prose just in time. She challenges her readers to look at their own lives and perceptions without sounding judgmental or preachy. Winters Almost Gone: Summer’s Coming On is a series of essays that will entertain, inform, challenge, and impress readers; regardless of whether or not they are from the Midwest.