Maud's Line: Book summary and reviews of Maud's Line by Margaret Verble

Maud's Line

by Margaret Verble

Maud's Line by Margaret Verble

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About this book

Book Summary

A debut novel chronicling the life and loves of a headstrong, earthy, and magnetic heroine

Eastern Oklahoma, 1928. Eighteen-year-old Maud Nail lives with her rogue father and sensitive brother on one of the allotments parceled out by the U.S. Government to the Cherokees when their land was confiscated for Oklahoma's statehood. Maud's days are filled with hard work and simple pleasures, but often marked by violence and tragedy, a fact that she accepts with determined practicality. Her prospects for a better life are slim, but when a newcomer with good looks and books rides down her section line, she takes notice. Soon she finds herself facing a series of high-stakes decisions that will determine her future and those of her loved ones.

Maud's Line is accessible, sensuous, and vivid. It will sit on the bookshelf alongside novels by Jim Harrison, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and other beloved chroniclers of the American West and its people.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Verble writes in a simple style that matches the hardscrabble setting and plainspoken characters. Verble, herself a member of the Cherokee Nation, tells a compelling story peopled with flawed yet sympathetic characters, sharing insights into Cherokee society on the parcels of land allotted to them after the Trail of Tears." - Kirkus

"Place is especially important to the author's story, and its setting is beautifully realized, as are the characters who populate this gentle novel with its sometimes slow but deliberate pace. Pair this one with novels by Louise Erdrich." - Booklist

"Writing as though Daniel Woodrell nods over one shoulder and the spirit of Willa Cather over the other, Margaret Verble gives us Maud, a gun-toting, book-loving, dream-chasing young woman whose often agonizing dilemmas can only be countered by sheer strength of heart." - Malcolm Brooks, author of Painted Horses

"Maud's Line is an absolutely wonderful novel and Margaret Verble can drop you from great heights and still easily pick you up. I will read anything she writes, with enthusiasm." - Jim Harrison, author of Dalva, Legends of the Fall, and The Big Seven

"Margaret Verble gives us a gorgeous window onto the Cherokee world in Oklahoma, 1927. Verble's voice is utterly authentic, tender and funny, vivid and smart, and she creates a living community – the Nail family, Maud herself, her father, Mustard, and brother, Lovely, and the brothers Blue and Early, the quiet, tender-mouthed mare Leaf, and the big landscape of the bottoms – the land given to the Cherokees after the Trail of Tears." - Roxana Robinson, author of Sparta

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Reader Reviews

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Robin M. (Newark, DE)

Great Historical Fiction
Historical fiction is my favorite read, and this (perhaps somewhat biographical?) book did not disappoint. Margaret Verble's descriptions of landscapes and events are rich, allowing the reader to easily form a mental image of the environment and plot, almost like watching a movie in one's mind. I don't know much about the lives of Native American's, but this book gave me an idea of what it was like in the 1930's. I imagine there was a great deal of research involved with the writing.

My great-great grandfather was a peddler with a horse-drawn cart in around the turn of the previous century. I don't believe he traveled as Booker did, but it gave me some ideas about a family member that none of my living relatives remember.

Josephine J. (Goshen, CT)

Wonderful
I requested this book because my father was born in Muskogee, OK, in 1916, and I wanted to know something about that time and place. I learned a lot from it, not in a didactic way, but in the well-told story of Maud, a young "mostly Cherokee" girl growing up on an allotment (land given to the Native Americans). Maud has two suitors, a white schoolteacher/peddler) and a full-blood Cherokee; a drunk and mostly absent father; and a beloved if strange brother. Their stories are enthralling, and this would make a great book club read. It is written with such immediacy that I felt swept into Maud's world - what more can a reader ask?

Gloria Ganderbilt

Outstanding!
This book exceeded all my expectations. The setting is eastern Oklahoma where I live, so I was particularly interested the book to start with. The writer's descriptions of locales were so vivid and realistic, it made this reader feel the starkness of Maud's life. I felt her loneliness and yearning for a better life. I loved Maud's colloquialisms, ie "difficult as a cow with a twitchy foot". Maud was real. She accepted life as it is but longed for something better. I didn't want the book to end unless it happened for her. The writer did such a good job of allowing the readers to get to know and understand her characters. Maud's sex life got a little more explicit that I felt was necessary, but considering her home life, it was perfectly natural. I read the final pages happy with the ending and satisfied that Maud had better things ahead for her. Congratulations to Margaret Verble for well written story.

Sharon B. (Rome, GA)

Maud's Line
I requested this book because I was born and raised in Oklahoma and like to read books that are set in that state. I was not disappointed with Maud's Line, the story of a young Cherokee woman's struggle to survive and make a life for herself on her family's small allotment of land. This little novel is full of historic details while weaving a story of love and the importance of family in difficult circumstances. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about Native American or Oklahoma history in a fictional setting.

Marci G. (Sicklerville, NJ)

Maud's Line
Maud's Line grabs you from the first few pages like a train wreck you can't turn away from. A gruesome act that sets off a series of events which leaves the reader(me) reeling. A fascinating time period and culture rich with family for better and for worse. The ties that bind. Does Maude's line speak of only the line of her government allotment of land or a line she can't emotionally cross? I would recommend this book! Fascinating!

Barbara P. (Hixson, TN)

Maud's Line
I was attracted to this novel because I hadn't read much about the Cherokee people once they had been sent out west. The story was entertaining but would have liked more character development. I felt like I needed to know more about what Maud, Booker and Billy were thinking. We knew more about their physical relationship than anything however I do realize that that was a large part of their attraction.
I did enjoy the book and would recommend this as light summer read.

...12 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

Margaret Verble, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, has set her novel on her family's allotment land. She currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and Old Windsor, England.

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