Monday, February 04, 2008

Keeping the House

by Ellen Baker

Set in Wisconsin, this is the story of two families: the Magnusons and the Mickelsons.

Dolly and Byron Magnuson just moved to Pine Rapids, WI. It is 1950, and Dolly is desperately trying to be the perfect wife. While working on a quilt with the town's old biddies, she learns of the other family.

The Mickelsons lived in Pine Rapids also. Wilma and John were married in 1896 and lived in a grand house in the small town. They had four children, two of whom served in WWI and two grandchildren, one of whom served in WWII.

Both marriages challenge the wives. Both women are not quite sure that marriage is the right choice for them. Through stories of the Mickelson family, Dolly learns that she is not alone in her struggles.

This is a great novel. The Mickelson family saga is engrossing, and Dolly is a very likeable character as well.


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