Prather’s Pick: ‘Only by Blood and Suffering’ a novel about freedom
This week’s column begins with a message about a new reading club. The Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries has exciting news for readers age 10 and older. A book club is being started in January as part of the 2018 Winter Reading Program. Club participants will read entire books, one per month, then discuss them as a group. The club will meet at 11 the last Saturday of each month.
January’s book, to be discussed Jan. 27, is “Book Scavenger,” by Jennifer Bertman. The February book is “I’ll Always Write Back,” by Catlin Alifirenka. A discussion of that book will be held Feb. 24. The book for the March 31 meeting has not yet been announced.
The featured book this week for adults is “Only by Blood and Suffering: Regaining Lost Freedom,” written by LaVoy Finnicum. The book was recommended by Iva Decker, of Craig. I requested the book from the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries. It took some time for the library to find the book, but when they did, it was purchased. Thanks for the recommendation, Iva.
LaVoy Finicum was a rancher and family man who lived in northern Arizona. He was concerned that “the citizenry of this country would wake up too late and discover that the price of regaining our lost freedom would come ‘Only by Blood and Suffering.’ “ (excerpt from “Special Tribute to the Author” at the beginning of the book.) The result was this week’s novel.
Finicum was killed Jan. 26, 2016.
The book begins in January, when the country is in chaos. Interest rates have risen incredibly, and the stock market is falling. Citizens have turned in their guns for a mandatory buyback. Hunting is no longer allowed, and gangs have taken over.
Cathy, known as Cat, a 19-year-old woman, can see the lights of Albuquerque about two miles to the east. Some of the city is without power. Buildings burn. The downtown part of the city has been abandoned. Cat’s mother is dead, killed by an intruder.
Now, Cat is headed for her father’s ranch in southern Utah. It’s a little less than 500 miles, and Cat is on foot.
Cat’s brother, Dan, is also headed for their father’s ranch. He has left San Diego with his family, but suddenly, their Escalade quits running, and they’re afoot, too.
Twins HayLee and KayLee, students at Utah Valley University, realize that something is going on in Orem, Utah, so they head for the ranch, too — on bikes.
Meanwhile, Jake Bonham waits with a collie dog for his children to arrive home. He has stockpiled food, and has guns and ammunition. He is about to realize his worst fears.
The novel’s plot was difficult to read (because of the crisis), but it was also hard to put the book down. It leaves the reader with a lot to think about.
“Only by Blood and Suffering” is published by Legends Library Publishing, copyright 2015. The soft cover edition costs $19.95, and it is also available at the Craig Library.