About the book: When Tessa Darrow discovers her father burning his Civil War uniform, she has no idea how his secret will devastate their family and drive them from their home in North Carolina. The family journeys along the Oregon Trail until tragedy strikes, leaving Tessa and her father to build a new life in Soda Springs, Idaho. This sweeping story illuminates an oft-forgotten era in LDS Church history. Filled with life and passion, it’s a thrilling read for history buffs and romantics alike.
My review: This is exactly the kind of book that I like to read! It's historical fiction with a touch of romance. I read Carolyn Steele's first book, Willow Springs, and knew that I would enjoy this one, and it was kind of fun that I grew up not that far from Soda Springs and have been there many times. It was fun to learn more about the history of the area.
I was sucked into this story rather quickly. I loved the character of Tessa, and the way that her childhood was abruptly taken away captured my attention. Tessa was such a strong young woman to go through the loss of both her mother and sister and then have to nurse her sick father back to health in a strange place.
I loved the characters of Soda Springs too. There were several parts of the story, whether it was making clothes for chickens or the gruff way some of the characters interacted that made me laugh out loud.
I loved that this book had a hint of romance, but it was mainly about the growth that both Tessa and her father made from the beginning of the story to the end. This book is an amazing example of just how historical fiction should be!
I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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About the author: Born and raised in Utah, Carolyn Steele was introduced to western novels at a very young age by her grandfather, the son of a gold miner. She has been writing technical and marketing communications for most of her adult life. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Utah. Her first novel, Willow Springs, was published in 2014.