Halley

By Faye Gibbons Halley [Hardcover] - Faye Gibbons

Pa Franklin has now taken over the responsibilities of the household and Kate is losing everything. The mound of dirt covering her husband’s body is only a few days old and now her life is drastically changing. Halley vocalizes her disapproval of her grandfather’s arrangements but he quickly squashes down her attempts to keep their family of three together on her father’s land. Moving in with Ma and Pa Franklin, watching others arrive in their wagons dissembling the life they had, and putting price tags on the items that Halley thought were priceless, Halley frustration with her mother was growing. Being fourteen, Halley has an energy and fight inside her, she has dreams and ambitions for her and her family but when she sees her mother let Pa Franklin make the decision for their family, she gets angry. Ma takes on a job to help with the finances and this worries Halley. She has heard rumors about the mill, she just wonders how long it will be before her mother starts coughing. Halley and her brother will each start a new school soon. Pa Franklin is a preacher, he likes to preach both the gospel and just preach what he thinks but he doesn’t live by what he says. Halley tries to throw his scripture passages back at him and these confrontations had me smiling, as the twisting of the words made each party a victor. Ma Franklin gets in on the action and Halley alternately takes over many of the household duties leaving me wondering what the real motive is for Ma’s actions. Halley is not able to start school now that she is busy with all the household duties and Halley’s dreams fall by the wayside. Her emotions and frustrations increase and the tension in the house are thick. Halley discovers a way to survive, a way where she can make a meager living safe from Pa Franklin, an escape from her daily responsibilities, if only she can keep it a secret. Life was hard back in the day and for Halley, she is searching for her ray of sunshine. It was a vicious cycle, her grandfather with his taunting and his relentless preaching, her grandmother and her cycles where one minute she enlightened Halley with stories and other times she seemed off-key. Her mother, it happened all so quickly, her life changed with the passing of her husband and then her father swooped in and claimed the life that was left behind.   Halley is frustrated, torn and wants to escape. This cycle must end but what is cost in doing so?