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Brides of Prairie Gold Mass Market Paperback – 1 Feb 1997

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Time Warner International (1 Feb. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446603244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446603249
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.3 x 17.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,679,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books I've ever read 6 Sept. 1999
By Paula J. Carroll - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first experience reading Ms. Osborne and I loved the book. I started reading it at 10p.m. and couldn't stop until 5a.m. I really loved the epilogue where she tells about the lives of the characters up until their deaths, it gave me a satisfied feeling of closure, something that you don't always get with a book. I'm a Maggie Osborne fan for good. If you like to read about the Oregon Trail and what these brave pioneers went through this in not only a love story but rich in historical detail as well. This book is on my keeper shelf.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining Read.....Not particularly romantic.... 23 April 2004
By Serene Night - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wow! This was an excellent read! Prairie gold is the story of twelve women who travel out west to become mail-order brides. The story focuses primarily on Perrin Waverly who is an intelligent widow with a big secret. Also in the spotlight are the other women who accompany her, including Perrin's nemesis Augusta Boyd.
I really enjoyed Prairie Gold. Maggie Osborne is at her absolute best when writing about the frontier days. Perrin and the other women were fascinating creatures and their struggles truly horrific at times.
While I liked this book, and give it a five star rating, I didn't find it particularly romantic. Mostly because the romance was rather downplayed, and was rather bland. The hero Cody Snow was rather typical for a romance hero (his wife did him wrong so he hates all women) (bleh). The romance between the character Mem and Webb Coate was more interesting but very unrealistic. The character, who, ironically I liked the most, was Augusta Boyd. Augusta was portrayed as a spoiled princess, but I felt she was the most realistic character as she reflected many of the attitudes and prejudices of the time.
PEEVES: The "Good" characters were quite politically correct. Also parts of this novel did not ring true for the period. Examples: Once discovering Perrin's secret, the women of the camp (and men) would shun her. I also could've done without the `obsessed stalker' character (how realistic is it that this person would be able to sneak around unseen amongst such a tight knit and close community and wreak havoc? (Besides I felt this subplot was unnecessary and cluttered an already action-packed plot). And last, despite myself, I wished for a happy ending for Augusta, who grew a lot, and deserved more than the author wrote for her.
Overall, a great read. Sure to please the most discerning historical fan, but a little light on romance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
My first Maggie Osborne book, won't be my last! 17 April 2011
By T. Wheaton - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am really surprised about how much I liked this book.

It is the story of 12 women who, for each of her own reasons, feel the life they are leading in the small town of Chastity, MO is untenable so they agree to be mail order brides to un-met husbands in Oregon.

They meet with the wagon train master, a no-nonsense man named Cody Snow who lays out the realities of travelling 2,000 miles in a wagon train over somewhat hostile territory.

"Tomorrow morning we will embark on a journey that will take us halfway across a continent, We'll be on the trail for 2 and a half thousand miles, and over five months. We're going to encounter all kinds of weather and problems we can't anticipate now. Several of you will fall seriously ill along the trail; one or two of you in our party will die. These are facts based on experience. There's cholera and measles on the trail; dysentery is a common ailment. We're going to ford rivers and cross mountains. It's going to rain, hail, and snow on you for most of eh trip, the sun is going to broil you alive. We'll encounter every type of wildlife you can name, some of it dangerous."

Added to that the women were required to drive their own wagons, set up and dismantle their own tents, cook their own food, and take care of their own livestock.

As the team gets underway it is a first confusing keeping all the names straight. But it soon becomes clear that several of the women stand out. Perrin Waverly is nominally the heroine of the book. She is described as very beautiful but she is an outcast amongst the women because she was the mistress of a man back in Chastity. Perrin is conscious of the other women's disdain and she works hard to rise above it. She catches the eye of Cody and they deny their attraction because he has sworn off women because his wife betrayed him(yawn!) and she is promised to the man in Oregon who is to be her husband.

I liked Perrin. She had a bit of that noble, suffering heroine thing going on. And she was just so nice and worked so hard. You just root for her. But even though she was the heroine, I honestly didn't find her story/character arc the most fascinating. Yes, she and Cody made a great main couple. But the author just didn't give her story the teeth that she did some of the others.

There is also Mem Grant a spinster who hated being the unmarried one next to her prettier sister. She is looking at the journey as the adventure of a lifetime because she has had a thirst to travel and see and experience things. She falls in love with Webb Coate the half-Indian scout on the trip. But Webb has eyes only for the lovely Augusta.

I think I actually liked Mem the best of all the brides. Truthfully, I think Mem's story arc was closer to a true heroine of a romance novel. Her fate on the trail and at the end of the story was fantastic. She was just as nice as Perrin and was one of the few women on the trail who really didn't dislike Perrin and she works in her way to get the other women to start to come around.

And then there is Augusta Boyd. She is the most beautiful woman in the train. The spoiled, pampered society maiden who has never known want. She secretly yearns for Webb while despising him for being half-Indian. She absolutely hates Perrin and does everything she can to undermine her whenever she can. Some of the other women are sycophantic because they are now able to be a part of her society where she would have never deigned to notice them back at home.

I thought Augusta's story arc was hands down the most fascinating. She is the typical, hateful spoiled character with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. But Augusta is more than that as we learn as the story unfolds. Over the course of the story, I hated her, I pitied her and I, surprisingly, kinda liked her.

The other women tended to be rather more supporting characters. And they all had secrets which come to the light over the course of the gruelling trip. And yes, some of them don't make it to the end.

Outside of the characterization, I thought the author did a bang up job of making you feel the true arduousness of the journey. The descriptions of the rain, the dust, the disease, and the endless exhaustion. It was more -- gritty--- than some western romances that I've read.

At the end the author includes an epilogue that tells about what happened to each of the brides, even the ones that left the train early. I thought that was a nice touch and it felt fitting.

This is my first ever Maggie Osborne book but it won't be my last.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent...(4 1/2 stars) 27 April 2004
By M. I. - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a book! "The Brides of Prairie Gold" was truly entertaining. The book was labeled as a romance, but I have to say that it focused more on the womens relationships with each other than on romance. Thats not to say there was no romance. The main couple, Perrin and Cody, were interesting, but what I really wished for was more of Webb and Mem - I would have LOVED a book written that focused on them alone. Webb was amazing and I prayed for so long that he would FINALLY notice Mem...the scene where they commited themselves to one another was so romantic I could have died...Any frustrations I felt toward Webb vanished when he proclaimed his intentions in a swoon inducing lovescene that took place in hot springs...oh,I truly could have died! So...why not 5 stars? All in all, I wanted a little more focus on romance, but my main problem with the book was its ending...too sad for my taste. Still, this is a genuine keeper...Id recommend it.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent story line...Written with boredom... 3 Feb. 1999
By River Lindsay Balmer ( - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book had a very good plot and story line. The author's quest for telling the life of many people was very different but intriguing. Three stars because the way it was written was boring or not exciting. It also made you feel as if you knew the secondary characters better than the main characters. All in all it doesn't keep you turning the pages, but if you like stories that are set on the trail, it's a good book to read.
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