Thursday, May 14, 2015

Never Waste Tears--Worth A Read

Never Waste Tears

Gloria Zachgo's second novel is historical fiction at its best. She seamlessly weaves the story of five individuals who travel west from Ohio where they homestead in western Kansas a few years after the Civil War has ended. Gloria is a native Kansan so it seems natural that she used Kansas as the setting for her book.

The novel opens at the beginning of the Civil War when two of the main characters are young teens. We follow Rebecca and Nathan as they mature, fall in love, marry and head west. Carl and Hannah are part of the wagon train that the young newlyweds travel in. The two young couples decide to settle close to one another in western Kansas in an area that Carl had seen once but never forgot. We follow the progress made by the two young couples, their hopes and joys, their sorrows and trials. Hannah's sister, Sarah, joins them later and is the fifth main character in the book.

There have been many other books written about the pioneers who settled the western parts of our country but this one hooked me immediately and kept me reading at a fast pace. The oversized paperback book is just shy of 400 pages and my interest level was such that I read it in two days. I kept picking it up between household tasks because I wanted to find out what happened next.

Gloria Zachgo used an interesting technique in presenting her story. The five main characters tell us the story in their own voice. The reader might hear from three characters in one chapter but the narrative flows smoothly. She labels each with the name but the five are such individuals that the reader can figure out who is speaking without the names. Even so, I liked seeing the name above the narrative.

This technique allowed the author to achieve excellent character development, even though doing so in a book written in this method is not always easy to do. She mastered the technique. Because I'm a writer, I read a novel with two sets of eyes--that of strictly a reader and also a writer. I'd give it five stars in both categories.

The title of the novel is explained on the back cover:

 Five journeyed into the unknown, where opportunities and tragedies were in equal abundance.     Those who were strong didn't waste their tears, but used them wisely to help wash away their grief.

You can order the book at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.

In tomorrow's post, author Gloria Zachgo, will be my guest blogger. She will discuss self-publishing which she did with both Never Waste Tears and her first book, The Rocking Horse. Each one was done in a different manner. Anyone interested in self-publishing will want to read what Gloria has to say. So check in tomorrow.


  1. Can't wait to read this! I enjoyed The Rocking Horse and am excited to dive into Gloria's newest. Thanks, Nancy, for the helpful review; sounds like I need to block out some uninterrupted time for this one :)

  2. Hope you enjoy Barb - looking forward to hear what you think too.