I don’t know why this book is not universally adored. It describes an eccentric, very poor family in remote Colorado, paid to create a ‘heritage’ experience, making their farm into a pioneer homestead of the 1880s. The question of heritage versus history is played out in the novel as a terrific social comedy which is also poignant about the past we have all lost. It’s another world in a teaspoon book – you step into the slim volume and a whole other life unfolds around you.
Set in a back-country ranch in Colorado, this novel tells the story of the Fleuris family, who is persuaded by a government agent to turn their farm into a 1880s pioneer homestead for visitors. Funny and poignant, Simple Gifts explores our complex relationship with history and heritage.