Authors: Lauraine Snelling
“Two dozen years ago we watched in horror as Mount St. Helens erupted on our television screens, fearing for the safety of those who lived beneath her shadow. In
The Way of Women
, Lauraine Snelling takes us there in graphic, moving detail as she explores the lives of three women deeply affected by the natural disaster. Her careful research and vivid descriptions make the mountain come alive, and the unique challenges each woman faces draw us day by ash-covered day toward a satisfying end.”
, best-selling author of
Thorn in My Heart
The Way of Women
, Lauraine Snelling goes beyond her usual grand storytelling in giving us insights into landscapes, history, and life. This time, through her memorable characters, Lauraine explores the explosiveness of loss, taking us to the depths of our need for relationships in turbulent times. Grief and disaster can be transforming if we allow God to work in our lives. That’s one way of women I’ll take with me from a story that sings with the beauty of the northwest landscape and Lauraine’s own lovely language. ‘The creek gossiped with the rocks’ and ‘Wait—a four letter word worse than cursing’ are phrases worthy of remembering, as is this fine story of God’s power to use each of us to help heal each other and restore ourselves in the process.”
, award-winning author of
A Name of Her Own
“Reminding us that love can spring forth from ashes, that life can emerge from death, Lauraine Snelling writes a gripping and powerful novel that will inspire and uplift you.”
, author of
The Last Odd Day
The Healing Quilt
Dakotah Treasures Series
Red River of the North Series
An Untamed Land
A New Day Rising
A Land to Call Home
The Reaper’s Song
Blessing in Disguise
A Dream to Follow
Believing the Dream
More Than a Dream
Secret Refuge Series
Daughter of Twin Oaks
Sisters of the Confederacy
The Long Way Home
12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80921
Scripture quotations are taken or paraphrased from the
King James Version
Holy Bible, New Living Translation
, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Though Mount St. Helens and its environs are real, the characters and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.
Copyright © 2004 by Lauraine Snelling
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Published in the United States by WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc., New York.
and its deer colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The way of women / Lauraine Snelling.— 1st ed.
1. Saint Helens, Mount (Wash.)—Eruption, 1980—Fiction. 2. Saint Helens, Mount, Region (Wash.)—Fiction. 3. Women—Washington (State)—Fiction. 4. Washington (State)—Fiction. 5. Female friendship—Fiction. I. Title.
To all my women friends
without whom I would be lost.
And to my mother, my hero,
who is now at home in heaven.
ince this book started in 1983, my public thanks to Linda Waltmire is long overdue for all her hours of copying the newspaper articles of the eruption and making sure I got all available information. Thanks, friend. Marcia Mitchell provided airplane and flight information, and Susan Edmonds at the Frank Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle let me go through archives and provided information on early bone-marrow transplants. Thanks to Kathleen, Kitty, Mona, and Eileen for reading and critiquing. Our writer’s retreats are high points for me both production-wise and spirit-wise. You are all great brainstormers and wonderful friends.
Cheers for my editor, Dudley Delffs, at Waterbrook Press, who encouraged me to push the envelope—a scary thing. Thanks to all the people at Waterbrook for your encouragement and the pleasure of working with you. My agent, Deidre Knight, rates five stars. Thanks my friend.
Cecile, you had no idea what you signed up for when you agreed to be my assistant. Diamond you are, and what a ride we are having. Thank you, God, for all my friends and family who put up with so much and help keep this storyteller on track.
Much has been published about the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and I think I’ve read and watched most of it. But I’ll never forget the happy hours we spent on her flanks, the awe we felt watching what looked like a concrete pillar rising miles in the sky in the early days, and the tears I shed at the sight of the devastation and again when I saw new green sprouting from the ashes. To God be the glory as life is reborn from ashes and we go forward.
ome days are for remembering.
The visitor stared out across the silver-gray river bottom of the Toutle Valley. Twenty years ago, Mount St. Helens had spewed her insides all over the valleys, laying timber out like wind-flattened stalks of grain and turning the river into a cauldron of rock and ash, snow, and ice. She had turned death loose on the hills and valleys in one cataclysmic stroke. Twenty years ago, life changed in an instant, and no one had any control over it.