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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
September Wind by Kathleen Janz-Anderson is a story with a huge potential for entertainment and a strong female protagonist. Emily’s mother dies in childbirth and she grows up on her grandparents’ farm in a life of hardship and struggle. Emily lives like a slave in her alcoholic grandfather’s home, cooking, doing laundry, and responding to the needs of her uncles and distant cousin. At her tender age, she experiences a lot of difficult situations — the loss of Haity, her friend from school, the departure of the first love of her life, Daniel, and the painful experience of rape. When she turns eighteen, she is ready to move away and face life, but an interruption of her plans ends in a tragedy that makes her a fugitive, headed for San Francisco, her heart filled with hope and promise. But what awaits her in this strange and difficult world is far different from anything she ever expected.
Kathleen Janz-Anderson spins a mesmerizing story and creates a protagonist that readers will follow closely. Emily's pain inspires emotion in readers, a genuinely flawed character whose destiny seems to have been predicted the moment that her mother dies when Martha speaks the frightful words: “A storm is headed our way, little one. I can feel it in my bones.” The grit, the humanity of the protagonist and the callousness of the people who surround her, especially the drunken grandfather, are elements that are skillfully developed and they are ingeniously used to deepen the conflict. September Wind is filled with realism and the characters are believable. The suspense is terrific and the reader keeps on reading, hoping against all hope that Emily can make the best choices for her life. This story reflects many lives around us, strangely familiar and utterly gripping.