September Wind

Book One - Third Edition

Young Adult - Coming of Age
296 Pages
Reviewed on 09/06/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Kathleen Janz-Anderson began her writing career in a
country-side home surrounded by rustic farmland when
she picked up a guitar and wrote songs to help her through long winter nights.

When she sat down at her computer to begin writing her first novel, she knew that she wanted to write about a young girl who struggled through great challenges. Starting out as green and uneducated about writing as one could be, she finished her first draft in six months. Gardenia Press gave her a second place award for her efforts. But not until 2023 could she say that, I am finished.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

September Wind: Book One is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, recent historical fiction, and family saga subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Kathleen Janz-Anderson. In this life drama set over the course of several years, we get to know our protagonist, farm girl Emily Rezell, whose life takes many difficult turns after she loses her precious grandmother at a young age. Spanning the middle of the twentieth century, Emily finds herself in San Francisco under the control of a brothel madam determined to exploit every girl under her roof. Emily yearns for a better life and a man who will appreciate and care for her at last.

Author Kathleen Janz-Anderson has crafted a fantastic epic tale of a life with many twists and turns, and it’s sure to please fans of sagas, coming-of-age fiction, and recent historical works. One of the features I especially enjoyed about this work was the attention to detail in Emily’s psychological and emotional journey and the power that education and life experience give her as she gets older. There are many important lessons to be learned after her very simple upbringing, and the way she handles the harsh moments of the plot really endears her to readers and keeps you rooting for her happiness right up to the novel’s satisfying conclusion. Overall, I would certainly recommend September Wind: Book One to fans of well-penned drama that focuses closely on character and emotion throughout.

Antoinette Wessels

September Wind, Book 1 by Kathleen Janz-Anderson is a heartfelt story about Emily. Emily was born on a windy September day. Her mother died in childbirth, and her grandmother and grandfather raised her on a farm. Emily knew how to sew and cook from a young age but never went to school. One day when an official from the school board, Miss O'Reilly, comes to the farm to talk to her grandfather about her education, Emily’s life drastically changes. Emily learns about true friendship, innocent love, and heartbreak in school. It is through her education that she decides that she wants to become a teacher, which eventually leads her to San Francisco, a place where her story only really begins.

Kathleen Janz-Anderson’s novel, September Wind, Book 1, takes us through the first years of Emily’s life, filled with joy and heartbreak. Emily’s story took me from highs to lows in just three hundred pages. Kathleen Janz-Anderson wrote her main character in a way that will make you root for her on every page. Her naivety about the world is excellently written and to see her grow as a character was enjoyable. When September Wind ended, I almost wanted to cry out, frustrated. I wanted more of Emily’s story and can’t wait to read September Wind, Book 2. I will have to wait until next year to read Book 3, but I am sure it will be worth the wait.

Christine Nguyen

September Wind: Book One - Third Edition is the enduring coming-of-age story of a young girl named Emily, who was orphaned at birth. The only real love and stability she knew was that of her grandmother, but at the age of seven, she also lost that. Emily continued living with her grandfather who treated her more like a servant than a family member. Her uncles, Timothy and Steven, and her Aunt Francine were at best indifferent to her existence. Kathleen Janz-Anderson pulls readers into Emily’s aching loneliness and isolation, sharing her hardship and pain. Emily’s life took a turn for the better when the school board forced her grandfather to put her in school where finally, she made a lifelong friend in Haity, and her world slowly opened up to her first bittersweet love with her classmate, Daniel.

Kathleen Janz-Anderson’s novel centers on a brave heroine that readers come to root for in the early chapters. Emily made the most of what life gave her and carried within her heart her grandmother’s mantra of using prayers and persistence to get through life. September Wind took me back to the exciting emotions of my first crush, making me revisit those flutters of nervous anticipation and butterflies that Emily experienced. Janz-Anderson is a compelling writer who invokes deep emotions in the reader while reinforcing the important message that no matter how hard life can get, persistence is the key to overcoming any obstacles.

Stephanie Chapman

Kathleen Janz-Anderson's September Wind is about Emily's difficult life. Raised by her grandmother for the first eight years, Emily had never been to school. When her grandmother died, they expected Emily to take her place by cooking and cleaning, but the school board made her grandfather send her to school. On her first day, Emily recognized Haity from a time when she was with her grandfather. The girls became best friends. After four years, Emily discovered Haity had drowned the day before school started. On the last day of school, Daniel, a boy Emily liked, asked her to play basketball with him during the summer. Emily’s grandfather told her she could not attend school anymore. Claude, the farmhand, began molesting Emily. When Daniel moved away, Emily’s Aunt Francine gave her a way to leave the farm. Emily leaves the farm, afraid her family will discover a secret she left behind.

Kathleen Janz-Anderson gave Emily a kind disposition and acceptance of her role at the farm. Claude molesting her, Haity’s death, and Daniel’s family moving away were the major catalysts for Emily wanting to leave. She did well in school and loved reading, but her grandfather stopped her from attending. Her uncles didn’t help matters, either. I wasn’t sure why she didn’t tell anyone about Claude's action. When she fled the farm, I almost held my breath. I hoped her family missed her and wanted her back. Her destination shocked me because of her history. The details of every emotion Emily felt were vivid. I could see her anxiety when she faced the reality of life beyond the farm. I watched her self-esteem rise more when she made new acquaintances. The sudden ending of the book threw me for a loop. I am desperate to read the sequel. I recommend September Wind to readers who like watching a young girl blossom into a young woman with potential.

Rabia Tanveer

September Wind: Book One by Kathleen Janz-Anderson is the story of a courageous girl who grew up to be a woman of honor and pride. Emily Rezel’s mother died giving birth to her, and since then, she lived with her grandparents. When her grandmother passed away as well, the responsibility of the household fell upon her shoulders. Her grandfather wanted her to stay home and handle housework, but she wanted to study. When Emily turned 18, she packed her bags and decided to try her luck in San Francisco. However, her journey started with something terrible, and things didn’t get any better after she arrived in the big city. She was caught in the clutches of Miss Bea and forced to work in her brothel. But Emily was stubborn. She was ready to fight for herself and her dreams and leave the brothel with her dignity intact. But what if her past caught up with her?

What a fantastic, immersive story. September Wind reminded me of those tales of fantastic, badass heroines who ruled the 90s literary world. Emily was ready to do whatever it took to live according to her own standards and rules. What happened on her way to San Francisco shattered her, and what happened with Miss Bea was just what she needed to push forward and chase her limits. She didn’t want to work at the brothel, so she devised something to fight it. This was more of a coming-of-age story of Emily rather than any other dramatic adventure (although there was plenty of action and adventure). Author Kathleen Janz-Anderson ensured her readers had an emotional attachment to Emily before the novel reached the crescendo. This novel was a journey, and I loved every second of it.