Thursday, December 13, 2012
Where the Trail Ends
American Tapestry Series
By Melanie Dobson
Summerside Press, October 2012
About the Book
A young woman traveling the Oregon Trail in 1841 must rely on a stranger to bring her to safety.
After losing her parents along the trail to Oregon Country, Samantha Waldron and her young brother, Daniel, must overcome tremendous challenges to reach the Willamette Valley before winter. When their canoe capsizes on the Columbia River, they rely on handsome British exporter Alexander Clarke to escort them to Fort Vancouver.
A number of men vie for Samantha’s affections, but the only one who intrigues her is the one she cannot have. When Alex’s betrothed arrives from Britain, Samantha becomes determined to create a home far away from the fort. But when Daniel disappears into the wilderness alone one night, Samantha must rely on the man she loves to rescue her brother before it’s too late.
In some ways this story reminded me of others I’d read about the journey west on the Oregon Trail, but strangely it was less depressing than most. I liked how the author showed the heroine and the mettle she had that helped her endure to the end. It took a lot of determination to survive back in the pioneer days. So many people died on the way. But at the same time, for those who made it, there had to be so much joy at arriving at their destination, especially after having traveled for so long.
The love story was sweet and the tension between the hero and heroine palpable at times. But the hero was a man of honor, and of course, there had to be the typical misunderstanding that often happens in romantic fiction. I enjoyed the story and the strong heroine, and at the same time I didn’t find it as compelling as some of Melanie’s other books. But I couldn’t stop reading, so the pacing was just right to keep me hanging on to the end.
If you enjoy historical fiction, you’ll enjoy this novel. It shows many of the hardships the emigrants traveling out west experienced, but without the gloomy feeling that often accompanies such historical tales.
Healing Hearts . . . fiction making an impact on real lives . . .
New titles releasing in 2012: Decision to Love, It’s Not About Her, Somebody Love Me,
Out of Time, and Surprise Love