I LOVE this book! I have the full novel in the commemorative pictorial, the DVD, and now the audiobook, wonderfully narrated by Campbell Scott. Ms. H★★★★★ I LOVE this book! I have the full novel in the commemorative pictorial, the DVD, and now the audiobook, wonderfully narrated by Campbell Scott. Ms. Hillenbrand has researched her topic well, but she brings it to the page with insight, humor and an emotional depth that make it additive. You want to find out more about these three misfits – excuse me, make that four misfits, including Seabiscuit – and find out how they won the love of a nation in the midst of the Great Depression. There is never anything dull and tedious presented here and it is full of surprises....more
I’ve only ever read one Carla Kelly book prior to this one, and it was very good. This one is wonderful. Every once in a while I like to read an inspiI’ve only ever read one Carla Kelly book prior to this one, and it was very good. This one is wonderful. Every once in a while I like to read an inspirational love story or one about a person of faith. I adore a good historical-western-romance and this seemed right up my alley. I naively started this book not realizing that it is a LDS (Latter Day Saints) book. Once I realized that, I had to put it down for awhile, for personally reasons I don’t wish go into here. However, I am glad I picked it back up.
I am not an expert on the Mormon religion; however, being a history buff that loves the Oregon Trial period, I’ve read a little of their history and can’t help hearing the current news about the fundamentalists sect. Nevertheless, this is a book involving a regular LDS heroine and Ms. Kelly lets us know LDS folks are just normal people; in 1909 they put their pantaloons on one leg at a time like the rest of the world. Some of them wonder how they will explain or justify their religion to people who are simply inquisitive and others who are judgmental. Maybe CK made a point of setting Julia up to show she has ‘free-will’ – which is our greatest gift and the reason we are on the Earth (IMHO). I don’t know. I still liked the story.
As the back of the book says, this is a story about a young woman who answers an ad for a cook in Wyoming. I love books about cooking, and our delightful heroine is in for a delicious surprise. (I probably would have reacted the same way!) Of note, I especially enjoyed the relationship Julia Darling had with her parents throughout the book. Also, the fact that Paul Otto, the hero, calls everyone by their last name; hence, he calls Julia “Darling” through most of the book, except toward the end when he calls her “darling Darling”. Cute. CK has the talent of being able to set a scene and let it tell the tale with stirring dialogue. I found fun, humor and depth of emotion in this book. I got a wonderful sense of time and place and was pulled into the pages. There is a rich caste of multi-dimensional secondary characters. There is growth all around and an ability to heal even the deepest of emotional wounds. All things I like! Plus, the type of danger Julia has to face was a surprise and very well written.
I had to think hard about the end before I wrote my review. Julia is in love with Paul and admits it, and visa versa. (view spoiler)[However, she won’t marry him b/c then, when she dies, she will not be with her family in the temple of their hereafter. As a person who wants love to conquer all in my romances, I struggled with this. Was CK pushing the Mormon religion here, saying they are the only ones that enter Heaven? Or might she be saying, Heaven forbid, the hereafter was segregated? I don’t know. However, I gave CK the benefit of the doubt as most religions believe the former, and most people want to marry someone of their same religion or spiritual philosophies. On a personal note, I had to ask myself the question: Is my entrance into Heaven dependent upon whom I marry? It’s a thought provoking question. I also thought it was pretty convenient that Paul was already studying to convert to the Mormon faith. (hide spoiler)]
The upshot of it all was that I liked the book and am glad I read it. Will I continue to read Ms. Kelly’s books by Cedar Fort, Inc.? I don’t know. She sure writes an excellent story, although I have all her previous books to plow through first.
This book was sent to me free of charge by Cedar Fort, Inc. and, by doing so, had no effect of my rating. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more