Author will share how Orleans County inspired her book about pioneers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 April 2018 at 9:05 am

Melissa Ostrom’s book, published by Macmillan, highlights courage of pioneers who settled in WNY

Photo by Tom Rivers: Melissa Ostrom, author of The Beloved Wild, will give a book talk and sign copies of The Beloved Wild during a 7 p.m. event today at Hoag Library in Albion.

ALBION – They were typically just teen-agers when they set out from New England to brave a hard journey by wagon, through dense forests, to get to Orleans County and Western New York.

There wasn’t a map. The pioneers followed markings on trees as they made their way west.

The pioneer settlers were incredibly resourceful in taming the land, building homes and farms in the frontier. The obstacles were many – sickness, uninvited strangers, alcoholism, abuse.

Melissa Ostrom of Holley writes about those challenges and the indomitable spirit of pioneer settlers in a new book published by Macmillan. She will give a book talk at 7 p.m. today at Hoag Library. She will also sign copies of The Beloved Wild.

“I wanted to give something back to the people who welcomed me in,” said Ostrom, who grew up in Jamestown.

She taught high school English in Kendall for 11 years, before reducing her schedule to part-time at GCC after the birth of her daughter Lily, age 9.

The Beloved Wild is a debut young adult fiction novel. Harriet Winter is the main character in the book. She is expected to stay home in New England and cook and tend to her younger siblings. She refuses. She disguises herself as a boy and joins her brother on the epic trip to the Wild West – the Town of Gaines.

During the book talk this evening at the Hoag Library, Ostrom will discuss how the history of the Orleans County settlers inspired her to write her novel. The event is sponsored by the Cobblestone Society and Museum, Hoag Library, the Orleans Chapter DAR, and the Orleans County Historical Association.

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