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Rosette : A Novel of Pioneer Michigan
by Cindy Rinaman Marsch and Betsy Marsch and Betsy Marsch




Overview -

Almost-spinster schoolteacher Rosette Cordelia Ramsdell married Otis Churchill on a Michigan farm in 1857. Her real-life journal recounts two years of homesteading, history hints at the next six decades, and the novel explores the truth. We meet Rosette in 1888 as she revises the wedding-day page of her journal. In lush detail, in the voices of Rosette and others, the novel traces how we both choose and suffer our destiny, how hopes come to naught and sometimes rise from the wreckage.

In a style reminiscent of Willa Cather, in a family saga that recalls the work of Marilynne Robinson, this novel brings us enduring themes of human life as Rosette and her friends and family make the most of the American pioneer life first detailed for most of us by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Each narrator - Rosette, her brother Solomon, her mother Sally, her husband Otis, and briefly their son DeWitt - offers his or her own perspective on the events, giving insight into themselves as well as the other characters. Rosette tells her mother her dreams, and Sally discerns meaning her daughter does not see. Otis reveals his solitary and ambitious character, and Solomon is his foil - these two pursue life and love quite differently. DeWitt speaks in his own middle age of his western frontier homesteading, combining the characters of his parents while being at the same time his own man. The novel closes with an elderly Rosette reflecting on the stream of the life she envisioned in the journal of her twenties - what might have been, what was lost, and what might yet be.

With authentic historical detail and modern insight, this novel conveys hopes and heartaches of our own world in a setting of pioneer challenges with the weather, great physical effort, and limited resources, as well as pioneer advantages of fulfilling success in one's own efforts and a close-knit community of neighbors visiting one another's farms and supplying one another's needs every day.

A rousing presidential election season, vigil at a neighbor's deathbed and preparation for burial, family and friends building a honeymoon sleigh, and community sledding, dances, an apple-paring bee, and a spell-down at the local school - all of these are recorded in the twenty months of Rosette's journal. The novel opens up these experiences for the modern reader, carrying us into Rosette's world and back into our own hearts. Rosette will linger with us.

  • "I would almost call this an epic of the heartland, a novel that makes the small sacrifices of an anonymous woman equal to the most celebrated hero of legend." - Joshua Grasso, Department of English, East Central University
  • "Rosette is a seamless narrative.... A]llow yourself time to find the rhythm of the novel's phrasing. The 1850s were a more formal time, in manners and speech. Be caught up in Rosette's life as I was. As a student of history, I waited for the small mistake of fact. I found none. You may use this novel as a window into pre-Civil War rural Michigan." - Karen Charbonneau, author of Marble Creek and The Wolf's Sun
  • "Her use of language is superb, echoing the phraseology of the time without sounding stagey, which makes the diary extracts blend seamlessly with Marsch's own text." - Debbie Young, Commissioning Editor and UK Ambassador, The Alliance of Independent Authors

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More About Rosette by Cindy Rinaman Marsch; Betsy Marsch; Betsy Marsch

 
 
 

Overview

Almost-spinster schoolteacher Rosette Cordelia Ramsdell married Otis Churchill on a Michigan farm in 1857. Her real-life journal recounts two years of homesteading, history hints at the next six decades, and the novel explores the truth. We meet Rosette in 1888 as she revises the wedding-day page of her journal. In lush detail, in the voices of Rosette and others, the novel traces how we both choose and suffer our destiny, how hopes come to naught and sometimes rise from the wreckage.

In a style reminiscent of Willa Cather, in a family saga that recalls the work of Marilynne Robinson, this novel brings us enduring themes of human life as Rosette and her friends and family make the most of the American pioneer life first detailed for most of us by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Each narrator - Rosette, her brother Solomon, her mother Sally, her husband Otis, and briefly their son DeWitt - offers his or her own perspective on the events, giving insight into themselves as well as the other characters. Rosette tells her mother her dreams, and Sally discerns meaning her daughter does not see. Otis reveals his solitary and ambitious character, and Solomon is his foil - these two pursue life and love quite differently. DeWitt speaks in his own middle age of his western frontier homesteading, combining the characters of his parents while being at the same time his own man. The novel closes with an elderly Rosette reflecting on the stream of the life she envisioned in the journal of her twenties - what might have been, what was lost, and what might yet be.

With authentic historical detail and modern insight, this novel conveys hopes and heartaches of our own world in a setting of pioneer challenges with the weather, great physical effort, and limited resources, as well as pioneer advantages of fulfilling success in one's own efforts and a close-knit community of neighbors visiting one another's farms and supplying one another's needs every day.

A rousing presidential election season, vigil at a neighbor's deathbed and preparation for burial, family and friends building a honeymoon sleigh, and community sledding, dances, an apple-paring bee, and a spell-down at the local school - all of these are recorded in the twenty months of Rosette's journal. The novel opens up these experiences for the modern reader, carrying us into Rosette's world and back into our own hearts. Rosette will linger with us.

  • "I would almost call this an epic of the heartland, a novel that makes the small sacrifices of an anonymous woman equal to the most celebrated hero of legend." - Joshua Grasso, Department of English, East Central University
  • "Rosette is a seamless narrative.... A]llow yourself time to find the rhythm of the novel's phrasing. The 1850s were a more formal time, in manners and speech. Be caught up in Rosette's life as I was. As a student of history, I waited for the small mistake of fact. I found none. You may use this novel as a window into pre-Civil War rural Michigan." - Karen Charbonneau, author of Marble Creek and The Wolf's Sun
  • "Her use of language is superb, echoing the phraseology of the time without sounding stagey, which makes the diary extracts blend seamlessly with Marsch's own text." - Debbie Young, Commissioning Editor and UK Ambassador, The Alliance of Independent Authors

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780997112719
  • ISBN-10: 0997112719
  • Publisher: Moraine's Edge Books
  • Publish Date: June 2016
  • Page Count: 238
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.54 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.58 pounds

Series: The Ramsdell Family

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