Spotlight on Alaska Books: Whispered Secrets Whispered Prayers

from within the shining grass, the headlights caught the eyes of some night
animal: a skunk or badger, or down on the flats, coyotes. Seeing them, Urs
slowed even more, feeling the car and himself to be one more night creature
scurrying along with shining eyes.
full, round moon was beginning its descent. Beside him Margaret’s head was
flung back. Her face and hair shone silver. Her arms lay quietly apart. Her
legs. Her mouth. Through the open coat the silky fabric on her belly shone and
when Urs caught sight of it, he glanced away quickly. The sight of Margaret’s
belly made him look at the moon, and when he did, it became a round hole in the
velvet night.  For an instant he felt as
if he could grasp its black edges and with his strong arms lower himself into
the brilliant land that lay beyond. (
Whispered Secrets Whispered Prayers by Donna Mack)

     As they swarmed by the thousands out of
train stations, Americans already here gawked at their tall astrakhan hats,
colorful sashes, boots, sheepskins, and feather beds. In
isolated from
for centuries, they clung to outdated German ways as best they could,
never considering themselves Russian. Most Americans called
them,”Rooshans”.  They are a part of our heritage to a
large extent denied, forgotten, or unknown. 
Secrets Whispered Prayers
 is the story of one such family.     

came together: Father, Mother, and children. 
Only their last child was born in America: Urs.  All to soon he became an orphan.  After working for years as a hired hand Urs
at last has a family of his own. He marries Margaret, a widow with three
children.  Only Annie, the youngest is
Urs’ child. With the simple words and sentiments these common people become
unwittingly ensnared in a web of calamity and ruin.  Set on the desolate North American
wind-flattened prairie, under the vast dome of pitiless sky, the poor rocky
land is itself a powerful character. 
Only seven-year-old Annie, possesses the innocent powers of insight,
imagination and compassion that might save them from themselves.

Read the full reviews and more on Whispered Secrets Whispered Prayers
…….Her characters are
complex, deep and kindly drawn. Even the characters that we do not like at all
in the beginning we understand and sympathize with before the story ends.
Her words are often poetic while her underlying love of nature and of humans is
always there reminding us of our humanity and of our dependence on Mother
Nature…I was disappointed when the book ended….  It was like saying a permanent goodby to
neighbors you really care for but know you will never see again. 
A beekeeper’s
daughter, Donna was born in Iowa, one of five children. As a child she worked
in her father’s bee yards and sold honey door to door. Later she was a carhop
and after years as a waitress, a school bus driver, and social worker Donna was
awarded NEA endowment for her short fiction. She later earned a MFA at UAA
Anchorage. She and her sister owned a small import business in Alaska and upon
retirement Donna has completed her first novel: Whispered Secrets Whispered Prayers. It tells the story of one family of Germans from Russia, a part of
that late coming little known ethnic group who settled the prairies and plains
of the Americas. Donna loves traveling and has visited more than 20 countries.
She spends her time with her husband between Homer, Alaska and Pueblo,
Colorado.  Donna is a member of 49

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