Kathryn's Reviews > Opal

Opal by Lauraine Snelling
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Jan 24, 10

Read from January 20 to 24, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Opal is settling into ranch life perfectly. She is 14, going to school during the day(which she can't stand) and doing ranch chores and training horses in the evenings. She couldn't be happier, but then a drifter comes to town and catches her swimming in the river, a compromising position for a young girl to be in which a man that is not a gentlemen. When he threatens Opal, Atticus, one of her older school friends comes to her rescue. They leave the drifter tied to a tree as they escape, but he comes back with reinforcements and beats up Atticus. Ruby and Rand send Opal away to New York to the Brandons and civilized life to keep her safe until the drifters are caught. She endures all the proper activities of a lady, but is terribly homesick and guilt ridden for the part she has to play in Atticus' beating and then Mr. Roberson's death when he tries to bring in the drifters. She learns the importance of forgiveness of ones self and to move forward leaving the past in the past.
Reverand Jacob Chandler is having a hard time with forgiving himself also. He made a mistake in his youth with morality and then when he tried to fix his wrong through going to the one he did it to she was gone. Now 7 yrs. later she is at his doorstep with a boy, his son, Joel, says she got married, her husband died not knowing that Joel wasn't his and then that she is sick with consumption and then flees later to throw herself in the river. Jacob's guilt reaches his max and flees with his son to Dakota territory where he becomes the hired help to the Robertson's and learns to ranch. Opal prepares all the young girls and the chandler's for round up. Mr. Chandler finds that he has a admiration and pull toward Opal, but promises to wait to declare his intentions until she is 16. Atticus and his family leave the Dakota territory making the hurt for forgiveness strong in Opal. When he does return it is to tell her he isn't there to stay but to scout out another place to homestead in Oregon. She finds that he doesn't blame her but wants to make a fresh start and she feels that this isn't the end of this part of her life but the beginning. Ruby has a second baby a girl on Christmas.
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