Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Memory of Muskets by Kathleen Ernst.

Kathleen Ernst writes a multi-layered story of different members of a family, over a hundred years apart, and those they are connected to in love and work. There are two mysteries occurring in the book.

Chloe Ellefson is a Curator at Old World Wisconsin planning a big Civil War event. She is a professional at work, while mentoring and working with staff, despite her Boss being a pain. At least her love life was fine until she felt bad energy about the Cabin that her boyfriend wants to make into her private space. Roelke had bought the family farm and Chloe is slowly moving her things in... as she finds out things about his Ancestors who built it. Things she may not want to tell him. But while she debates all this... they find the body of a reenactor and death suddenly seems very close. Add to that the shooting of another and all kinds of strange things start happening.

The Book is strong on the language and flavor of reenacting as it is also on the daily workings of a historic site. The Staff who work with collections, as well as events, are well developed. Ernst builds strength into the personalities and types of people who love history and participate in these type of recreation events. The Book moves slow but layers the different time frames well.

But to me the heart of the book is the love story set right before the Civil War. I found the German settlers, who entered this country at a time of Civil War, making life and death decisions about themselves... fascinating. Their loyalties gave a slant to history I had never thought about. Marriage was often built on practical reasons alone... not love. I found the ancestor research by Chloe added a lot of emotion to the story and had a strong mystery of its own.