Genre City Review: The Green Veil
Title: The Green Veil (Empire in Pine, Book One)
Author: Naomi D. Musch
Publisher: Desert Breeze
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: January 2011
Review by: Lisa J. Lickel
Musch’s historical fiction … has all the grit, romance, hardship, and lore of the Great North Woods.
The Green Veil satisfied my Wisconsin home–historical-romantic-suspense- and thrill-seeking reader-needs, all in one beautifully written novel. Musch’s characters are so captivating I couldn’t stop reading, right from the opening scene, which offers a preview from the middle of the story. Thank goodness, I was reading on my computer and could turn pages faster; although, I developed a blister on my thumb.
Musch’s historical fiction, straight from early-Wisconsin-settlement times, has all the grit, romance, hardship, and lore of the Great North Woods. A time when lumber barons took land and timber by right, by force, and by theft.
Colette (Lettie) Palmer is a young girl when her father follows Harris Eastman to the Wisconsin Territory in 1841. When the Palmer and Eastman families settle in Grand Rapids, Colette becomes a companion to young Mrs. Eastman, helping at her home and impressing Mr. Eastman with her quick grasp of business. Colette has left friends behind in Michigan, including her childhood love, Manason Kade, but soon makes a new friend, Joe Gilbert.
Joe will never be more than a dear friend to Colette, not that he doesn’t wish for more. A few years later, Colette’s father suffers a terrible accident, and with her mother, moves to Milwaukee for medical care, leaving Colette with the Eastmans. Meanwhile, Manason follows his dream to the Wisconsin lumbering trade, where he and discovers underhanded practices in the industry.
When Mrs. Eastman carries an eventual pregnancy almost to term, it’s not hard to figure out what’s going to happen. Through a series of miscommunications and missed connections, Colette makes life choices out of pity and the goodness of her heart, while never forgetting her longing for Manason. When Manason finally meets Colette again, he is too late to declare his love. Eastman’s jealousy plays out in his underhanded treatment of Manason.
Colette’s marriage is trying on many fronts, but her faith is always her foundation, no matter how difficult life becomes. When her circumstances take another life-altering change, she must choose again—but will she decide her fate for the right reasons this time?
This period of 1840s Americana is rare in historical fiction and is a delight to explore with Musch, who does an excellent job putting her readers in the time and place with rich detail.