University Press of Kansas, 1994. Hardcover. Item #311340
213 pages. First edition (first printing). A very good copy in a very good dust jacket.
This is Carol Brunner Rutledge's diary of the three months preceding the death of her mother, Alice. With quiet eloquence she celebrates her mother's life and guides us on a journey from anguish and doubt through self-discovery and healing. In the tradition of earlier plainswomen, she fuses deeply personal emotions with universal themes tied to family, community, religion, and work - amidst the stark beauty of the Flint Hills. Rutledge vividly describes the people and the seasons of the prairie, providing insight into how generations of tall-grass people have related to the land. She offers nostalgic memories of her childhood and family history, as well as reflections on the Kansas pioneer spirit and its special brand of humor. Rutledge also records with excruciating honesty her frustration at the insensitivity of high-tech medical professionals who ignore her mother's strong spirit while continuing to labor over a body that no longer works. Rising above these false hopes, mother and daughter forge an even stronger bond as they come to understand that dying is a natural part of living. Throughout, the silent, powerful prairie provides solace and strength.