Saturday, April 5, 2008

Free Land, Part 3



I enjoyed the last few chapters of Free Land more than any other portion of the book. David and Mary Beaton welcome their second child, David buys a herd of sheep from a widowed woman who is going back east, and the Beatons are visited by David's parents for the first time since they moved west.

The hope for the future--which was missing for most of the book--returns in the final chapters, making me want to keep reading. I'm never sure, if I enjoy a story ending which ties up every loose end or one that leaves the reader thinking of what is in store for the characters after the last words are written. While Rose left the future up in the air for the Beatons, I felt it ended in the appropriate place. James Beaton makes a decision which ideally will help David prosper.

But we don't know what happens with David and Mary after that. Does David lose his flock to disease or does he become a successful sheep herder? Are David and Mary able to become wealthy enough to live in the same style they were accustomed to when they lived back east or do they lose everything? Or, do they end up prospering so greatly that they surpass even the wealth they once knew?

The possibilities for what happened to the Beatons are endless...just like all our futures. And it is fascinating to toss these ideas around in my head and think of stories left untold.

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