Author: Gar LaSalle

Publisher: Solipsis Publishing Seattle

ISBN:  978-09978436-3-7

Gar LaSalle, author of The Fairness of Beasts, has created award-winning documentaries and historical works of fiction. (2017, p.355) He is also a sculptor and physician. Widow Walk published in 2014 garnered multiple awards and has been optioned by Heyou Media, Inc. as a feature film. Isthmus was published in 2015 by Avasta Press was a finalist in the PNWWA Nancy Pearl Award. 

I am not a fan of war. However, because The Fairness of Beasts depicted the inner turmoil of his main characters I found it interesting despite the overarching descriptions of the wounded and dead. One main character was, like the author, a physician named Rory Brett. He was a good man who simply found himself caught between the Confederate Army and the Union Army. He endeavored to serve both in his capacity as a doctor and healer which ends up not serving him very well. He worked tirelessly to save the soldiers who desperately needed his skills to keep infection at bay and to amputate limbs that were beyond his ability to heal. He was in love with a woman by the name of Emmy Evers and had asked her to marry him.

Emmy Evers had been previously married and was now a widow. She was well educated and traveled. Her first marriage had brought about two children, a son and a daughter. Emmy and her family had been taken captive in Panama and saved by an Indian man named Jojo. Emmy was forever in the debt of Jojo for keeping her and her family alive after being captured and held captive. She hoped to find him again once the war ended.

Emmy’s father, Kern O’Malley, had been an influential man. He was a Congressman from the State of Massachusetts and knew the President. Because of his influence she has been afforded many benefits and privileges. Recently, he died.

Kathleen McEmeel is Emmy’s sister. She is married to Jon McEmeel, a military man, who has risen through the ranks because of his familial relationship with Emmy’s deceased father. He has not always worked in the best interests of his family or country, but whatever he has done has profited him mightily.

Emmy decides she does want to marry Rory Brett and sets out on an adventure to locate him and tell him her decision. She has had to disguise herself as man in order to pursue Brett unencumbered. She meets with defeat after defeat and sadness or hopelessness as she continues this path toward location of the man she now refers to as her fiancée. Yet she is determined to find him. Will she? Won’t she?

Emmy has left her children in the care of her sister, Kathleen, who happens to know nothing about children and does not really like her niece or nephew. The nephew has been troubled even since the capture in Panama and Kathleen believes she can get him the mental health he needs in New York. She plans this medical intervention with a social trip of sorts. She ends up leaving the children at this mental health clinic for evaluation and pursues a more intimate relationship with a man she feels could provide for her emotional comfort better than her current husband can. The children escape and wind up unattended in the wrong neighborhood in New York City in the winter. Will they survive? Will Kathleen find them before Emmy returns from trying to locate Rory?