Title: Prairie Fever
Author: Michael Parker
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publishing Date: Paperback – June 23, 2020
Genre: Literary fiction
Set in the hardscrabble landscape of early 1900s Oklahoma, but timeless in its sensibility, Prairie Fever traces the intense dynamic between the Stewart sisters: the pragmatic Lorena and the chimerical Elise. The two are bound together not only by their isolation on the prairie but also by their deep emotional reliance on each other. That connection supersedes all else until the arrival of Gus McQueen.
Simply put, the writing was beautiful. The words had a lyrical way about them and set against the harshness of prairie life, the stood out unlike anything I’ve read. Some books in this wilderness setting use prose so desolate that the book becomes a burden. That is not the case here.
The characters were both enigmatic and easy to connect with once you learned their backstories. I love quirky characters and the emotional connection shared between the two sisters was incredibly well done. At times I felt like a third, silent sibling witnessing something incredibly unique. The other characters, also very well developed, balanced out the intensity with bits of humor and beauty.
If you enjoy intense and quirky characters, experimental fiction, and an epistolary twist then this book is for you. The writing is beautiful and sets an atmospheric stage for for a book you will not soon forget.
About the author
Thank you to Algonquin Books for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.