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Land - Home - Mountain View: Stories from the Siskiyous by Ursula Bendix
Life-changing stories by real estate agent serving remote northern California

The characters, situations, and places in Land - Home - Mountain View are gently brought to life as real estate agent Ingrid Fromm tries to find the perfect property for her clients in California’s last frontier—Siskiyou County. This remote area of the state with its spectacular mountains, wilderness areas, rivers, and high desert has always attracted those looking for a new life.

Fromm’s own hopes and longings unfold as she encounters the Vietnam veteran who searches for human connection, the spiritualist who dreams of building a center for healing that someday will host the Dalai Lama, the San Francisco artist looking for creative inspiration, the homeless man wishing to buy his place in the sun, and others with stories to reveal.

While the book is fiction, the backdrops are real places in Siskiyou County. Current and former residents can reminiscence about the places that Fromm's work to her, from the sprawling Klamath River country estates to a railroad-era Dunsmuir home.

The stories contain more than 20 references to Mr. Shasta, mostly because the book's main character promotes views of the mountain to her real estate clients. Snow-capped Mt. Shasta is a huge selling point to out-of-towners.

In one chapter, Bendix describes Dunsmuir as "hidden in the canyon below the freeway, shrouded in a blanket of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and buffeted by splashing sounds of the Sacramento River. 

Readers are left guessing about Ingrid Fromm's opinion of the area's best restaurant (spoiler alert: Cafe Maddalena).

The theme is more about people who bought proberty in the county not with a motivation for profit but about finding a sense of home and escape from their past.

"They do it to have a place to be secure or have different motivations," Bendix said. "They came up here where it's easier to buy a place. I saw that as being a change in our area." --Mike Chapman, "Date," Redding Record Searchlight

[Ursula Bendix] owner/broker of Bendix Real Estate in Yreka, has crafted a series about her counterpart Fromm  (also in real estate in Yreka) … presents 10 vignettes, tales of clients narrated from Fromm's point of view, that in quiet ways begin to expose the soul of a woman in her 60s, divorced after 34 years of marriage, with a son and daughter living a "conventional" life.

Fromm's work makes her almost a voyeur into the lives of her clients. "Voyeurism, she knew, was a means by which she tried to discover and comprehend the nature of intimacy. She was sure that once she understood this feeling, she would understand the essence of living. … Selling real estate gave her the opportunity to meet all types of personalities and, for a short while, become intensely involved in their lives. …" 

A conventional life? Perhaps -- but one that will draw readers into its gentle passion. --Dan Barnett, "Community," Chico Enterprise Record


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