Read The Runaway Friend: A Kirsten Mystery by Kathleen Ernst Free Online
Book Title: The Runaway Friend: A Kirsten Mystery|
The author of the book: Kathleen Ernst
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.87 MB
Edition: American Girl Publishing Inc
Date of issue: March 1st 2008
ISBN 13: 9781593692988
Read full description of the books The Runaway Friend: A Kirsten Mystery:jeez louise. this book seemed needlessly complex to me. especially for a kiddo. let's go to the recap:
it's unclear to me when exactly this book takes place because i haven't read kirsten's introductory series in a long time. kirsten doesn't speak, understand, or read english at this point, so it must be before her school story? i'm not sure.
kirsten & her family are living with mr. larson's brother & his family. they have a lot of other swedish immigrant neighbors, & everyone socializes & they help each other out with farm stuff, etc. apparently before kirsten's family arrived on the farm, olav, kirsten's uncle, co-signed a loan for a young swedish man named erik. erik helps out on everyone's farm & also has him own little homestead that he takes care of himself. it just has an acre or two of crops & a little shanty built into a hillside. erik isn't that much older than kirsten & kirsten thinks of him as a friend. they play marbles together.
but one day the sheriff shows up & confiscates olav's oxen because erik failed to make good on his debt. the sheriff explains that he tried to get the money from erik first but he has disappeared. everyone jumps to the conclusion that erik bailed on his debt & left olav holding the bag. kirsten's father is especially pissed because they are going to have a really difficult time bringing in their crops without oxen, & without crops to feed themselves & sell, they are in a pretty sticky situation.
kirsten is convinced that erik didn't run out on the debt. her proof is that his marbles are still at his shanty. they were a gift from his dead father & kirsten doesn't believe he would have left them behind if he was leaving forever. she finds a loose floorboard & beneath is a torn newspaper & a photo of a young woman. kirsten wonders if maybe the woman is a sweetheart of erik's that did him wrong. she also thinks that if she can find out what was torn from the newspaper, she might be able to figure out where erik went.
she asks around among the neighbors & finds a copy of the newspaper at the greens' homsestead. they have a really nice place, with all kind of frills, like sugar & a horse. kirsten silently laments the hardship that the larsons live with. the only nice thing that kirsten had was a little amber necklace her grandmother had given her before kirsten left sweden, & it went missing the night before erik disappeared. kirsten's cousin thinks erik may have stolen it, either to sell or to give to the woman in the photo to try to lure her back.
kirsten takes the newspaper to her cousin, who can read english. the bit that was torn from erik's newspaper was notices about things happening in st. paul. a ship docked, a man is looking for someone to build him a fence, another man took an ad saying that his wife ran out on him & no one should give her any aid (jesus christ! misogyny in action!). kirsten wonders if maybe erik went to st. paul to build a fence. her cousin asks why the eff erik would go all the way to st. paul when he has plenty of work to do locally. kirsten is at an impasse.
then all kinds of weird shit goes down with the greens. turns out mrs. green has bad nerves. she is constantly terrified that her husband is going to get killed somehow. she pretty much doesn't leave the house ever, not even to help out in the vegetable garden. her daughter, who is ten, is responsible for the garden & the milking & everything else. she hides from visitors, especially the local indians, with whom she can't communicate due to language barriers. she scrubs her floors over & over again & will forget to make dinner or keep the fire going. the woman is a total mess & she actually kind of scared me. i wonder if her character will be so incomprehensible to children as to not be scary? i don't know.
anyway, kirsten discovers that mrs. green stole her amber necklace. she has started just stealing pretty things when she sees them to hide them away for safekeeping--part of her whole crazy anxiety/depression thing. kirsten had found a package for erik in the box with her necklace & is asking mrs. green's daughter what to do with it when erik appears in the doorway.
apparently the woman who left her husband in st. paul was his sister. they had planned to come to minnesota to start a farm together, but instead she met an american man & married him. erik was bitter that she abandoned their plan & so he didn't tell anyone she existed. he started taking the newspaper to improve his english, reasoning that he could afford it because he could make so much money selling lumber. he was good for the debt, he just lost track of time & didn't pay it in time. when he saw the notice in the paper about his sister, he knew he had to rush to st. paul & help her. he has brought her back to him homestead with him. the debt was paid when the sheriff sold olav's oxen, but the sheriff tells erik & olav who bought them. they go to talk with the man, who agrees to allow them to buy the oxen back (with money erik made selling lumber). he then uses the money to buy a different team. the greens decide to return to sweden for the sake of mrs. green's mental health. kirsten is sad to lose her friend, but she's happy that she was right to trust erik & believe in him.
i think i hit the highlights. it was really the whole mrs. green story that freaked me out. that is a woman who really needed a copy of the feminine mystique.
Read information about the authorI grew up in Maryland, in a house full of books! Both of my parents were avid readers, thank goodness. Before we traveled to a new area, my librarian-mom used to bring home historical novels set in that place. It was a great way to get excited about history.
I began writing stories when I was maybe 10 or 11. At 15 I wrote my first novel; I sold my first novel to a publisher 20 years later! Writing was my hobby, so during those two decades I just kept practicing, reading, writing some more. What a thrill to finally hold my first book in my hand! Still, I write because I enjoy the process (at least most of the time).
For years I wrote while working at other day jobs. I spent 12 years working at a huge historic site, which was a perfect spot for someone interested in historical fiction. I also developed and scripted instructional videos for public television. Finally, though, it got to be too much to juggle. I now write full-time, and consider myself enormously fortunate to do something I love.
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