With the end of World War II, many changes occur to the Larson family in the novel "Beneath the Bellemont Sky." Mr. Larson lost his arm and is unable to help out as much on the family's farm in Bellemont, Wyoming.
His daughter Vera loses her husband, leaving her a widow with four children to care for. His son Andrew comes back with a French wife who helped the Allies win the war, and his son Sam returns to find his fiance fully embracing the workplace and intending to stay there even after they marry. Finally, 19-year-old Fey tries to rediscover a social life after spending years working on the farm while the men were at war.
As the Larson family and their small Western community try to pick up their lives where they were four years earlier, they find themselves treading on unfamiliar ground.
Mostly told through Vera's perspective, the women struggle to find their role while the men struggle to reconcile the horrors of the past with the hope of the future. Traditional attitudes and perspectives struggle against modern thoughts and ideas, and individuals struggle to regain the American dream they each desire.
"Beneath the Bellemont Sky" is a great quick read for those interested in historical fiction. The writing is refreshing and satisfying as it portrays the strength a family has when they band together. The characters are well-developed and easy to relate to, especially in their weaknesses. The romance between the different couples takes a backseat to the plot in a complimentary way.
This novel is a clean read with no swearing, violence or sexual content.
Author Ranee S. Clark, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, lives with her husband and their three boys in Wyoming. She has a Bachelor's of Arts in history with an emphasis on women and World War II. She is the author of multiple contemporary novels.
Lauren McAfee is a librarian assistant at Cedar City Public Library. She manages the social media platform, writes grants and assist with other outreach efforts in the community. Her email is [email protected].