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The Winter Rose (review) Melanie Dobson displays great skill in this piece of historical fiction, The Winter Rose (2022). Most of the story takes place during World War II and the postwar era, but it also leaps forward to 2003, when some of the characters are portrayed in matured aspects and in new settings. Dobson displays a firm understanding of the coping behaviors and resilience of traumatized children. All of the characters in this book are drawn with incredible depth, as are descriptions of Quaker experience.

On Perception (March 2023)

A Red Sky

Two and a half years later, her voice still haunts me. From the other side of the fence, I hear her yell at her children as they play in the backyard. It’s a sunny day, and my wife and I are riding our bikes on a path that runs right beside this family’s home. We are enjoying a weekend vacation in Ashland, four hours south of our own home in Salem, Oregon. A blissful afternoon, we are all unaware that, just two days later, a fire will race up the path we’re riding on. It will level this entire neighborhood to the ground, including the mobile home we just passed, with the door that just clacked shut. Whole communities in several towns will be completely wiped out by just one fire – one of the many fires about to explode across our state. This particular fire, the Almeda fire, will consume 2,600 homes and three lives. Throughout the 2020 wildfire season in Oregon, at least twenty-one fires will each burn more than a thousand acres or cause significant structural damage or death. Over a million acres will burn, 40,000 people will be evacuated, and at least eleven people will be killed.

On Loss (May 2023)

Some News from the Board Dear Friends and Supporters: The Board of Western Friend magazine wants to let you know some news.

On Loss (May 2023)

New Voices: Contemporary Writers . . . Holocaust (Review) New Voices: Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust, edited by Howard Debs and Matthew Silverman, was released this April by Vallentine Mitchell, a publisher of books in the fields of Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Holocaust studies. It is a collection of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from dozens of writers and poets, including Marge Piercy, Ellen Bass, Tim Seibles, and Tony Barnstone, but it is not in a strict sense an anthology. That is, the volume is not a collection of existent works, but rather a creation of new works produced together to help update our understanding of the Holocaust and its lessons.

On Loss (May 2023)