Guest Post and review of Shelterbelts by Sue Ready

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Sue’s picture of me in my writing office
“Shelterbelts” is Candace Simar’s newest historical fiction. The book offers all the best of Candace’s talents with a mesmerizing read. Her story chronicles Minnesota farming life during a tumultuous time period of World War II.  Candace draws on her Norwegian culture and crafts a compelling story whose characters’ stories stay with you long after the book is closed. Grants from Five Wings, a non-profit organization, workshops, along with family and community support helped make “Shelterbelts” become a reality.
      The story is character driven and told from multiple points of view. Candace skillfully navigates the story, changing the narration from chapter to chapter with a different family in Tolga township but always keeping Tia and the town focal points of the story. The characters are well developed and everyone has a story to tell.  Readers feel their emotions as they react to community events and their relationships with neighbors. Each character is passionate about finding their place in the world despite the cruelties of war and having to live on the land. One of the best points of Candace’s writing is she makes you care about her characters and what happens to them as the story unfolds. 
     Candace draws upon her own farming experiences and infuses realism into plot development. Even though Candace grew up in the 50’s her meticulous research for the World War II time period makes you feel a sense of place and time as if you are actually experiencing the events. Toga Township is a composite of Candace’s childhood home, neighboring farmers, church and school.  
Currently Candace has several writing projects she is developing. But as one of her loyal fans I can only hope someday Candace will write a sequel to “Shelterbelts.” My interest is piqued as to where these characters’ lives may take them.  I lost my heart to each of them.”
Thank you, Sue Ready, for reading Shelterbelts!

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