Book Notification

Margaret Verble Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Maud's Line (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cherokee America (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stealing (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Margaret Verble is an American author of historical fiction books best known for her debut novel Maud’s Line, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2016. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma and set her book in her family’s Indian allotment land next to Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma. Besides writing, Verble runs successful businesses and works as a consultant, which has seen her travel across different states and countries. But after the success of her first novel, Margaret Verble consolidated her consulting business to a single line of clients, tissue banks, procurement organizations, and eye banks to focus her time on writing.

In standard classic books featuring young leading characters, readers are often drawn into vivid, clear first-person narrative voices. In her novel, Stealing, Margaret vividly includes another heroine. “Stealing” is set in the 1950s, in Oklahoma, and follows 9-year-old Kit Crockett. Her father is believed to be a descendant of Davy Crockett, and her mother is a Cherokee who survived the Trail of Tears. Kit is responsible for her household, including cooking, cleaning, and listening to her violent, grieving father. Due to the remoteness of her home, the school bus driver picks her up first and drops her off last. The only companions she has are books from the library.

One day, when she approaches the cabin of her uncle Joe, who was killed in a bar brawl, she discovers a stranger, a brown lady named Bella, with a mysterious past. They form an instantaneous friendship. Kit feeds Bella by bringing the fish she catches while Bella combs Kit’s hair, walks with her, and gives her cuddles. Theirs is a brief idyll, full of images of fields and birds, but they’re being stalked by Mrs. Burnett, a wealthy white neighbor who openly despises Bella’s color and means of existence -Bella has two frequent male visits which support her. After a catfish hook hurts Kit’s leg, Mrs. Burnett mistakes Bella’s loving care towards Kit for sex and accuses her of engaging in sexual activity. She confronts Kit’s father, who kills both Bella and Mrs. Burnett in his rage.

Then, Kit’s life is taken from her. Following her father’s trial, a local preacher kidnaps her, preventing her from returning to her Cherokee family. Once Kit’s father goes to prison, the guy enrolls her at a private school managed by his close friend, the son of a different famous preacher. And then horror reigns on Kit. “Is this a boarding school or a prison?” Kit asks. Females of Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Comanche descent have their hair shaved. They are prohibited from sitting together. Kit is frequently sent to the director’s office, where she is sexually assaulted.

Verble vividly captures the director’s heinous mistreatment. Kit must put up with violent acts to receive letters sent to her by her family, and in one instance, she swallows a baby tooth and fears the tooth will hurt her from the inside. As a method of survival, she is resourceful and defiantly chronicles what occurs. Kit is resolved to leave a written account to shame the director, recalling her lifetime love of Nancy Drew literature. As she meets in private with Caroline, a Comanche girl at the boarding school, and discovers fresh bruises on her throat, she recognizes that further assaults are occurring. Despite Caroline’s revelation of a terrible discovery on school grounds, she organizes an audacious escape.

The biggest recurring theme in “Stealing” is how Kit’s entire family is torn apart by rigid Religion. The novel’s most nasty characters are those who consider themselves religious. Even before being assaulted at school, Kit’s father cautioned her against organized Religion. “My Daddy wasn’t attempting to rescue anyone’s soul, despite claiming to do so daily,” Kit’s father says about his preacher father. He was only seeking control over others. The 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist “Maud’s Line” was set in the same Cherokee region and explored the lives of a lady whose mother had died. But “Stealing” is a more confident and intuitive novel. Never does the writing go too far for impact. Kit’s voice is ageless, detailed, and wise as she weaves a complex tale involving ethnic and religious prejudice, brutality, and, yes, the theft of children.
In 2015, Margaret Verble published her debut novel, Maud’s Line. The US government gave American Indians uprooted by Oklahoma’s statehood land plots at the turn of the 20th century. Maud Nail spends her days surrounded by firearms, mud, and chickens on her family’s allotment. She cares for her men, a violent, rowdy father, appropriately dubbed Mustard, and a delicate, thin-skinned brother, Beautiful, and the extended family whose lands lie adjacent to hers. They had just escaped the 1926-27 flood that ravaged Oklahoma and most of the Midwest, but their troubles continued. Maud’s Line, the debut novel by Margaret Verble, chronicles a year when Maud takes multiple life-altering decisions.

Maud is initially drawn to a peddler in a vividly blue-covered wagon by his beautiful looks and books. He offers her a copy of The Great Gatsby, and she cannot stop thinking about bobbed hair and knee-length gowns. Maud loves her family dearly, but she badly wishes she could go on and live in a new world. When she becomes involved in a budding romance, her family’s problems demand her attention. Mustard is compelled to flee the city quickly after two members of a long-standing rival family are murdered. Lovely becomes unwell, and even more disturbing, his mind appears to be slipping away. And then, Maud’s occasional ex-boyfriend lays a claim on her right as she confronts her primary challenge.

In Maud’s Line, we see vivid flashes of blood, guts, desire, and the rough-and-tumble yet unified family care. Behind the brutality and sorrow on the surface of the main character’s life, the author creates a narrative full of subtlety and quiet conflict using her plain writing style. She has a gift for character development: Lovely’s girlfriend and Maud’s extended family members, for example, sparkle in their brief appearances because they are so painstakingly crafted. Maud is intricately crafted; torn between her upbringing and the people she loves and her desire for a new life with electricity and sanitation in exchange for dirt and blood. The subtle inner struggles created by Maud’s seemingly peaceful existence are one of the major qualities of Verble’s work, which is set on her own family’s land plot. Maud’s Line propels the reader until, among everyday deprivations and tiny tragedies, Maud gets to decide for the first time what her destiny will hold.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Margaret Verble

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