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Able McLaughlins

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By: (1882-1973)

Able McLaughlins is a captivating and poignant novel that follows the lives of a Scottish immigrant family in America during the early 19th century. The story is told through the eyes of the youngest son, Able, as he navigates the challenges of growing up in a new country while grappling with his own identity and sense of belonging.

Wilson's writing is rich and descriptive, drawing the reader into the world of the McLaughlin family and the hardships they face as they try to build a new life in America. The characters are well-developed and complex, each grappling with their own struggles and desires.

The novel explores themes of love, loss, resilience, and the bonds of family, making it a deeply emotional and moving read. Wilson's lyrical prose and vivid imagery bring the story to life, immersing the reader in the sights, sounds, and emotions of the time period.

Overall, Able McLaughlins is a beautifully written and poignant novel that will resonate with readers who enjoy historical fiction and family sagas. It is a powerful and compelling story that stays with you long after you've turned the final page.

Book Description:
The Able McLaughlins won the Pulitzer Prize for a novel in 1924 in Margaret Wilson's debut work. Aptly described as "Little House on the Prairie - but for adults" the novel follows a group of Scottish families who pioneer the Iowa prairie in the 1860’s. The main storyline concerns Wully, the eldest McLaughlin son, who returns home from the Civil War to find that his sweetheart, Chirstie, has experienced an unspeakable tragedy that will profoundly affect the couple's lives. Their story is one of shame and honor, secrets and guilt, fear and loathing, revenge and forgiveness. But perhaps the stars of the novel are the strong older women such as Wully’s mother, Isobel, whose love and matriarchal strength keeps the family together as well as Chirstie’s stepmother, Barbara, who finds ways to make her good-for-nothing husband keep his promises. Interlaced with the plots are richly detailed descriptions of frontier prairie life, the love that families share, and the relationships within the Scottish immigrant community.

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