So the other day while at the library a patron told me about a book that she loved. And since all the books I was talking to her about were ones thatSo the other day while at the library a patron told me about a book that she loved. And since all the books I was talking to her about were ones that she loved as well…I figured that this was a book I needed to read. And it was. This is a book about Della Anders, an orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle in 1899. And aunt who doesn’t like her humble circumstances and an uncle who could care less about even thinking about anything other than business. With a great determination Della decides to go and teach school in Winter Quarters, Utah (a mining town community). Of course there are new problems that come with teaching school in a place where the bread-winners face such dangers that come from coal mining. (And as a reader there is always a bit of worry since this is based on a time where a terrible mining accident happened and you know something horrible is coming Della’s way.) And then there is the miner Owen. He is so king and yet so stubborn. The type of character that is so good and so flawed that he actually seems real.
I found myself dreaming about this book (because I was crazy enough to start it without having enough time to finish it before I went to bed…though I did stay up rather late reading that night). The characters found a way to my head and my heart and I loved to see how they would stand up and make the best of a horrid situation. And I liked the nod to the LDS religion that plays such a great part to the story. Kelly didn’t shy away from giving details about what these characters believed or why they did what they did. It was just part of the fabric of the story. And I liked that. Plus I liked how each of the characters had to think through what it means to have a relationship and to put another person above yourself and what you think is best…all the while staying true to yourself. And that balance is ever so tricky to keep in check. A good, clean romance that stole my attention from the first page. Well done....more
Samantha Moore has had a hard life. She grew up going from foster home to foster home (with some time with her parents who were worse than all the fosSamantha Moore has had a hard life. She grew up going from foster home to foster home (with some time with her parents who were worse than all the foster homes put together) and one group home. In order to survive her horrid up bringing she would read books. To the point that she would take on the persona of different characters in order to survive different situations. Now Sam has a great chance to go to grad school thanks to a grant from a charitable foundation to help underprivileged children. This will be Sam’s last chance to get an education before she must face the real world all on her own. The only stipulation for the grant is that she must write letters to the foundation’s president about “things that matter” so that he will be able to know that he didn’t waste his money on her. Of course the writing is helpful to Sam in that she can just tell everything like it is without wondering if anyone will actually write back (since Mr. Knightley, the president of the foundation, has promised to not reply to any of her letters).
Sam is a great character. She has had a hard life. Of course Mr. Knightley, along with the readers, have found her a likable character that we all wish we knew. Sam writes about happy moments, sad moments, tense moments and anything in between. Although it has a bit of a predictable ending (especially for those who have read Daddy Longlegs) readers will wish that Katherine Reay had more wonderful books out there to help us discover how we may hide behind characters or books, in order to find ourselves. Well done....more
The 16-year-old Katherine Mary O’Fallon went on a trip away from her Boston home and family to visit her uncle just outside of Calgary, Alberta, CanadThe 16-year-old Katherine Mary O’Fallon went on a trip away from her Boston home and family to visit her uncle just outside of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. There she fell in love with a Canadian Mounted Policeman named Mike Flannigan. Even though her mother made her promise to not go to any farther than Calgary into the wilderness, that is exactly where Katherine goes after she hurries and marries Mike (since he is stationed up north). There this young slip of a girl learns what life is like in the cold, frozen places of the north. And she learns about herself, her new husband, and the people who live in so much snow and ice.
There are parts of this book I really like. There are parts of this book I really don’t. Granted, it was first written in 1947 and it is a historical book (so all our new-fangled modern ideas about what a woman is and can handle and what Native Americans are like are totally different). But seriously. This girl drove me nuts at times. She couldn’t think for herself. Then she could. The way the Native Americans were described made me cringe more than once. Then there would be something written that showed just how good some of them can be. I know people in general sometimes are like ping-pong balls going back and forth as they are figuring out who they are (and Katherine was only 16 when this story started)…but I really couldn’t stand how helpless she was. And how clever her tall, dark and handsome husband was compared to everyone else. I’m glad he was so smart. But this story made it feel like he was the only one who would ever know what to do in a crisis. And Katherine was such a weakling most of the time. Then she could be strong when helping Mike with a random surgery or something. Like I said, there were parts of this book that I liked. But most of it I didn’t. But it is a “classic” so wanted to read it. I think I should have read something else. But I kept at it because I wanted to see if Katherine changed. And thank goodness she did.
Although I will say that the reader was pretty good. I liked all the different accents and voices. Too bad I didn’t actually like the storyline a bit more…...more