The Perfect Blend of Historical and Metaphysical Fiction
“Souls of the Soil” by Gloria Waldron Hukle is one tale within another; a contemporary novel that questions the meaning of reality converges with well-researched historical fiction, the story inspired by an actual murder in Upstate New York in the year 1756 during the French and Indian War and the discovery of a local family cemetery plot centuries later.
But Gloria Waldron Hukle’s most recent work opens long before blood drips from the blade of a sharpened rusty bayonet.
The lives of two sets of fathers and sons, all four of whom share the same DNA, crisscross between centuries in this the fourth book of the series that began with “Manhattan: Seeds of the Big Apple.”
“Souls of the Soil” begins in the year 1679 as Cornelius Vandenberg, a badly burnt, disheartened Dutch immigrant farmer living on Papscanee Island near Albany, laments his loss of everything. It is November on the crystal covered, scorched fertile land, long held sacred by the indigenous peoples.
Thus begins this superb blend of metaphysical and historical fiction, the trek continuing many centuries and generations later with the reconciliation of family members brought together by the unexpected death of a close friend.
After twenty five years living in Arizona, Tom Carey, husband, father, a decorated veteran, finds himself back where he was born and raised a couple hundred miles north of Manhattan. Picking up his rental at the Albany airport, disjointed thoughts of the hours of the last day of his father's life return and linger as he heads toward the lands his Dutch ancestors settled. Something tells him atonement awaits just up the road.
Souls of the Soil by Gloria Waldron Hukle
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