“Desperate to better her situation, Aundy Thorsen agrees to leave behind her life in Chicago to fulfill a farmer’s request for a mail-order bride in Pendleton, Oregon. When a tragic accident leaves her a widow soon after becoming a wife, Aundy takes on the challenge of learning how to manage a farm, even if it means her stubborn determination to succeed upsets a few of the neighbors. Born and raised on the family ranch, Garrett Nash loves life in the bustling community of Pendleton in 1899. When his neighbor passes away and leaves behind a plucky widow, Garrett takes on the role of her protector and guardian. His admiration for her tenacious spirit soon turns to something more. He just needs to convince the strong-willed Aundy to give love another try.”
It’s a well-documented fact that readers seem to enjoy visits to simpler times of eras gone by and more specifically a time when a common practice was made of bachelors sending for a wife through the mail order bride system. This novel about a spunky heroine named Aundy is different than most because before hardly a chapter passes, her husband dies leaving Aundy with responsibility she didn’t bargain for. Being unfamiliar with this author, I didn’t really know what to expect when cracking open the pages of this story. What was inside was pleasantly cute in an old-fashioned, simplistic kind of way. What I liked best was that this wasn’t set in the old west. I’m not sure I can distinguish exactly the era (the beginning does list the year as 1899), but references to various iconic fashions or events like the “Gibson girl” hair places this at least in the 1890’s as does the luxury of indoor plumbing or the use of a telephone, all of which does make this read more like an early 1900’s story.
While overall, this was cute, there were some things I didn’t care for as a reader such as the shifting point of views. In the Kindle format I read, the point of view changed at the beginning of a paragraph which made it awkward for the story as a whole. This isn’t something I’ve ever experienced unless there was a “break” in the transition between perspectives and for me – especially considering there is more than just two character switch-offs, this detracts from the story because I found myself having to pause and try to make note of whose thoughts I’m meant to be in. Sure the characters are sweet, yet that trait did nothing to endear the “bigger picture” story.
True to form, there are some sinister dealings that crop up and place Aundy in a dangerous situation. Characters die (not by accident), others are seriously wounded and when she comes up against a villain who is attempting to make more than just trouble for Aundy, readers will want to speed through the final chapters to see what happens. Readers that enjoy an easy, historical read will likely find something to enjoy about this book. It’s not a personal favorite, but it makes for a quick read and journey back into a simpler time.
If you like Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart or the Janette Oke film adaptations for the Love Comes Softly series, take a look at this sweet read.
“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful
“Happiness in marriage is entirely a
matter of chance.”
Page Count: 330
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 28, 2013)
Buy Here: Amazon
Author Website: http://shannahatfield.com
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