The Fence My Father Built by Linda S. Clare is a poignant novel about finding where you belong. Muri Pond is taking her two children, Nova and Tru, home to her father's home in the desert area of Oregon after the loss of her job and the end of her marriage. She grew up never knowing Joseph Pond, but after his death, she finds she has nowhere else to go, so going to his home makes sense. Until she finds out that his home is a trailer with a group of cobbled together additions and is occupied by her quirky aunt and uncle and their potbellied pigs. That's only the beginning of Muri's trouble, however. Joseph left a fight over water rights with the town's best-loved citizen in which Muri quickly finds herself trapped in as well, plus Nova has no intention of living in the middle of nowhere. Clare puts Muri in the middle of an impossible situation and every turn of the page only seems to turn up the heat. Her writing is powerful and deeply human. I hope she writes more fiction soon!
There are a lot of stories out there to be told, and there are a lot of storytellers for that matter. There are some stories I like, some a lot. There are some stories I dont care for as much. And then, sometimes there is a story that reaches me on a deeper, more personal level. The Fence My Father Built is one of those stories. There was a lot about this book that I was able to relate to. I grew up with an alcoholic father, who now has liver disease (I should note that he has been clean for several years and the liver disease is actually caused by Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam). Muri spent most of her life not knowing her dad or her Heavenly Father. After her dad dies, she returns to his home to find the special gift of her fathers legacy.The Fence My Father Built is written with such tenderness that touched me deeply. The fence built from old oven doors was the beacon that led Muri to find her home and to find what she had been missing all her life. I loved the journal entries that Joseph wrote to his daughter. The faith he shared with her despite his pain was so moving. It was as if he knew Muri would need to hear those words. This book has given me a new appreciation for my earthly father, who is very special to me, and to my Heavenly Father, who I have only come to know in the last few years.Whether you can relate to this book the same way I did or not, it is still an excellent book with delightful characters and realistic family dynamics. The Native American history was very interesting as well. This book will appeal to many different types of readers because it has a little bit of everything. This is not a book to just be read though. It is a book to be absorbed and savored.