Title: By The River
Author: Jae Carvel
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
With three young children at her side, Sarah Ann arrives in the beautiful upper John Day Valley in 1869, a young widow whose husband had disappeared in an Indian raid on their way west.
In 1870, she marries Thomas Martin and begins her life as a rancher’s wife. She and Thomas are successful, hardworking pioneers who love their land and take seriously the job of rearing and educating their nine children.
On her one trip back to New York to visit her mother, Sarah Ann discovers she has been living a lie. The truth liberates her from the reserved stoic nature she has portrayed toward others during her first forty years. The last quarter of the century becomes a backdrop for a modern woman of subtle influence.
Experiencing a new self-worth, Sarah Ann shares her ideas and wisdom with her family and community while never disclosing her secret.
Jae Carvel’s work is inspired by the many stories of her ancestors who all came to Eastern Oregon as pioneers. She is retired from teaching junior high. She and her husband have four children, six grandchildren and one great granddaughter, making them a typically busy family, laughingly known as ‘retired.’ Jae travels, gardens, golfs and writes novels.
Review: BY THE RIVER by Jae Carvel A delightfully enticing and well-detailed historical narrative of latter 19th century Eastern Oregon, then still frontier. Amid the trials and tribulations of ranching life and grief and loss and raising a sizable family, an unusual young woman goes through a catharsis, and in the fires of her personal crucible an entirely new and stronger person emerges.