What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

UNSOLVED: One specific book > 18/19th c Historical Fiction, Northern America, female lead, gunfight, cross country journey. Spoilers ahead.

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message 1: by Julia (new)

Julia Gilchrist | 3 comments Hi All,

I'm trying to track down a book which I previously had in my bookcase, and which I've realised must have been chucked out.

Potential title: Letters, Night, Desire (??) (I've tried googling without success).
Publish date: Possibly 2002-2003. The version I had was a galley proof. In the novel storyline, I've included spoilers.
HF Era: Late 18thc-19th c
Location: North America
Paperback: Note, I had the galley proof, not the final published version.
Dust jacket illustration: Blue book cover - shades of blue and white with an illustration of woman with dark hair styled in a low bun, wearing 18/19thc garb, some kind of white corsety/top thing and long dress.
Main character: Female, possibly Nora, Louisa or Rosetta.
Novel structure: First person narrative, interspersed with letters written to/from the main character, from a man.

Story line: 'Nora' is a frustrated teacher or governess who has to travel across country Northern America. The story is partly told through dramatic narrative and partly through use of letters/diary entries in which she is writing to/from her beau/lover/friend (I can't remember which). For the majority of the novel, their correspondence makes you wonder if they'll ever meet up again or if they will be thwarted by tough circumstances. Very good literary writing style, not pulp fiction at all.

The character development is really about her experience of traveling across country and facing dangers as a woman alone, negotiating with people coming across her path. In the latter third of the book, she meets up with her lover/friend/beau and they have a dangerous moment where guns are fired but they survive even though he is seriously wounded. The fact there are guns makes me think the era the novel is set could be quite wide (I can't remember if it was a rifle or 12-gauge or a reloading or musket. I suspect it was a reload, not a musket fire). However, the gun used wasn't a pistol, because they needed something suitable for hunting.

message 2: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37562 comments Mod
Julia, are you still looking for this or did you find it?

message 3: by Julia (new)

Julia Gilchrist | 3 comments @lobster girl im still trying to locate it. do you have a lead??

message 4: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37562 comments Mod
Unfortunately, no.

message 5: by Kris (new)

Kris | 32189 comments Mod
Julia, is there very little romance in this book?

Why is she frustrated?

Why does she have to travel across (U.S. or Canada?)? And alone?
Where does she start and end (region/state/province/city)?
Does she travel mostly by train?
Who does she meet (and have to negotiate with)?

Who and where is her family?

message 6: by Julia (new)

Julia Gilchrist | 3 comments She's frustrated by her circumstances, trying to better herself through teaching, and finding social expectations unhelpful given its the 19thc. From memory there was a romantic interest.

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