Few books by Kansas-born authors get a starred review, indicating a book that is particularly outstanding, in Library Journal. Charlotte Hingers new historical novel, The Healers Daughter, is one such book. Set in Nicodemus, an all-black settlement in western Kansas in the post-Civil War era, the book emphasizes accuracy above sentimentality. Lured by promotions which paint Kansas as a near-paradise, the settlers struggle to survive and thrive on the prairie. Threats come from both within and outside the community, but through hard work they manage to build a new community.
Some may remember Hinger, a native of Lone Elm who now lives in Colorado, from her appearance at one of the librarys Family Reading Festivals a few years back. She has also written nonfiction (history), as well as a mystery series featuring Lottie Albright, a local historian who helps solve murders.
The Damascus Road by Jay Parini is based on the life of St. Paul and told from two perspectives, Pauls and that of his traveling companion, Luke. It details Pauls conversion and transformation into an advocate for Christ, his clashes with Jesus brother James and the apostle Peter, his difficult missionary trips, his struggles with the thorn in the flesh, and Lukes efforts to compile an accurate account of Jesus life.