Vine and Fig Tree: Salt River County Chronicles

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Trafford Publishing, 2002 - Fiction - 345 pages
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Country newspaper editor and publisher Hector Matthews is intrigued by the people of his community. There was a story in every person, every rock and tree, a multitude of little stories coming to the surface and going under again like threads in a tapestry, yet each had a separate denouement. Hector told such stories over and over. Little events. Little news items. Commonplace happenings of interest to his readers. Most of them could be repeated without a blush. Except in the minds of the readers, the stories had no life. Each reader, familiar with the faults, problems and virtues of his neighbours, scanned each line with interest, reconstructing as he or she read, the flesh and blood adventure behind the printed page.

Author Goldena Howard has created a time capsule of people, mores, culture and language from 1880 - 1960. Set in the fictional communities of Salt River County, Missouri, the stories capture a time and place that exist only in the memory of some. The characters are saintly and less-than saintly; they love and hate, scheme and plan. Themes of honesty, love and wholesomeness run throughout the stories.

Human relationships are at the heart of all the stories. The cast of characters that surrounds Hector is engaging, as each reveals his or her unique quirkiness. Some characters appear in several stories; some regale us just once. But all are connected through the places and supporting characters of their stories. Children and grandchildren of the stories' characters have their own stories.

Subtly humorous, historically accurate, and heartwarming, the stories will evoke reminiscences of an endearing time and place and of similar beloved characters whom the reader knows.

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