2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2012
Well where can I start with this book? Firstly I may as well get this over with now and say that I absolutely loved the characters, the setting, the way the dialog was written and the entire flow of the story. While reading this book I was not embroiled in a great mystery, I didn't have my mind baffled by the characters stupid decisions or lack of communication, I was not thrown into sudden anguish as something happened that was an obvious plot device in order to make me feel a sense of jeopardy. No, this book did not rely on tried and tested lesfic tricks and repeated concepts, it was just a story of two people and how hard life can be, how we sometimes do impetuous things, and how wonderful it is when you find somebody to go through those trails and tribulations with.
As far as the historical accuracy of the book goes I would have no idea if it was entirely accurate - I'm no historian - but I'm certain the author did plenty of research as it felt pretty damn right to me. I couldn't really give a flying fig about worrying over small details, however, when I had such interesting people to read about. The setting was evocative, and the way these two women cared and fought for each other was beautiful. Sure, they had some issues and life in their little part of the world was bloody difficult. They had to come to terms with what they were feeling, and work at understanding each other, but I was never left wondering why a character made the choices she did (even if some of their actions near infuriated me), or why they were just not communicating at all. The author obviously wrote this based on how normal women think and act and did not use lazy storytelling to create tension, or overuse misunderstanding/miscommunication to manipulate the characters or the readers. Most of us resolve misunderstandings much quicker than in nearly all other lesfic novels I've ever read, and it can cause much irritation when you just want to pick up and shake one of the main characters - I did not have to suffer that problem in this book despite the two leads facing obstacles and choices that confounded them.
Though it was first published in 1996 I only just stumbled across this book by Little, and the sample I read via my kindle had me so instantly engrossed I didn't even think twice before downloading the rest. Every detail in this book is described with a soft hand - it never once made me roll my eyes due to awkward or cringe-y metaphors and the like. Every character had their place (though some do suffer from being a little stereotypical), every scene had its purpose. The story was also wonderfully sensual without the need for explicit description. I could feel the desire and the love in equal measure.
When exquisite characters pull you on their journey in this way you can't help but enjoy the ride. And this certainly has to be one of the most enjoyable `lesfic novels' I've ever read - and I'm well on my way to having read far too many for it to be healthy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Aidan Blackstone has nothing. A thousand miles from home, sent to the frontier by a family that doesn't want her back, her only hope for survival is distant relatives who say they'll take her in. As all familiar civilization fades into the distance, she is nineteen, unmarried and pregnant, and has no reason to think that the year 1876 won't be her last.
But she's not met at the Washburn, Kansas, train station by the Bodett family. Only the daughter, Jocelyn, is there to greet her. Aidan finds herself bound for the Bodett farm, where influenza has wiped out the rest of the family, leaving young Joss in perilous financial straits and their only source of food and shelter at risk.
Joss, in her brother's clothes and severely lacking in social graces, has no time to mollycoddle a pampered, pregnant New England lady. It's work or starve, literally. There are no servants, no laborers--just a failing farm, impending winter and the two of them to face it together.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2010
Aidan Blackstone is sent from her family home in disgrace to distant relatives over a thousand miles away. When she arrives in Kansas, she discovers all her relatives except for her cousin Jocelyn, have died from influenza. Joss takes Aidan in despite being penniless and not knowing how she is going to run the family farm alone. Together the two women form a partnership and compliment each other in their skills. The story has many ups, downs and twists and turns arriving at a satisfactory conclusion.
This is a wonderful book that has just been re-released by Bella. It tells the story extremely well of the harsh times and the struggle people had to survive in the 1800's. The fact that Joss and Aidan fall in love is an added bonus to this excellent book.