What we’ve been calling family,is a stripped down version of a much richer creation, like calling a field of bluestem a prairie. It’s the rich diversity of grasses and forbs that makes a prairie work, just as it’s the rich diversity of parents and children, grandparents and cousins, aunts and uncles providing nourishment and support that makes a family work. Threshold is an interwoven tapestry of eight generations of family, their lives nourished by Nebraska’s farmland. Delving deep beneath the varied plants in the family, it takes readers into the skein of roots beneath the soil—and brings us home to a clearer understanding of our own ancestry.
These twenty stories loop into and out of the history of one ordinary American family’s struggle to survive. Five-year-old Joseph Swope is kidnapped and adopted by a war chief. The author’s father roars up the highway with a turtle as passenger, trying to save his marriage. A singer with big bands who survived an abusive childhood falls for a soldier one enchanted evening and finds herself on a remote Nebraska farm. There are unwed mothers and lonely spinsters who disappear from family records, wild young men who drink too much: all the folks who would appear on the family tree if most of us are honest.
By: Faith Colburn