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The Green Age of Asher Witherow
by M. Allen Cunningham

Category: Fiction / Historical
275 pages; ISBN: 1932961003

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The Green Age of Asher Witherow
M. Allen Cunningham
Unbridled, Oct 2004, $24.95, 275 pp.
ISBN: 1932961003

In the 1870s, preadolescent Asher Witherow, being of Welsh descent, works alongside his father in the mines of Nortonville, California. Death, the norm of working underground, is a blink away as Asher sees first hand when he watches his best friend Thomas burns to death in an accident in an abandoned mine. Feeling guilty over the death of his pal, when Asher is questioned he denies knowing anything, which in turn adds to his remorse.

Though lacking the slightest evidence, the townsfolk blame seminarian Josiah Lyte for the fiery death of Thomas probably because he is different with his Hindu and Buddha beliefs that enlighten his faith in Christ. The prejudiced locals do not trust anyone remotely dissimilar, but do nothing except somewhat ostracize the preacher.

A few years later, Asher’s twelve year old pregnant girlfriend and his mother die in separate incidents. Everyone blames Josiah except Asher, who knows the truth like he knows what happened four years ago.

Though at times author M. Allen Cunningham uses lyrical language that seem out of place for graphic scenes, historical readers will appreciate this first person account by Asher looking back at the pivotal early events that shaped and hindered his life. Asher is an interesting person struggling years later as an adult with the guilt he feels over the deaths of three people he cared about whom all died when he was a pre-teen. THE GREEN AGE OF ASHER WITHEROW furbishes a compelling look at first and second generation late nineteenth century Welsh-Americans working the mines that as the protagonist’s stoic dad accepts as all there is in life.

Harriet Klausner

 

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