This is the first book in the Holland Family Trilogy by James Lee Burke, a new writer to me, but one to whom I will return again and again. The novel has wonderful writing and masterful dialogue.

The story begins in 1934 when 16 year old Weldon Holland sees Bonnie and Clyde camped out on his grandfather’s wooded land and eventually shoots into the back of their departing car “after one of their notorious robberies.” Fast forward 10 years and we meet Lieutenant Weldon Holland again as he survives the Battle of the bulge with fellow sole survivor of their platoon, Hershel Pine from Louisiana. The two find themselves behind German lines where they rescue Rosita Lowenstein “hiding in a deserted extermination camp.”  The two, Weldon and Rosita marry, and with Hershel return to Texas.  They start an oil company together.

Although Weldon, idealist that he is, thinks he has seen an end to evil in the war, he soon finds he must “…[save] his family and friends from the evil forces that lurk in peacetime America”– think McCarthy witch hunts, big oil brutality, corrupt cops, mafia influences and Hollywood corruption.

The book is an exhilarating, exciting, sometimes exhausting read, one which keeps the reader turning pages and holding his/her breath to see what happens next.

I can hardly wait to read book two which has just been published.


Author: Rae Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 28th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

2 thoughts on “WAYFARING STRANGER by James Lee Burke”

  1. It is a little unrelated but I was reminded of Edna Ferber’s novel Giant while reading your review, perhaps it was the location. Regardless, Wayfaring Stranger looks great and have added it to my Goodreads wish list.

    Liked by 1 person

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