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on 17 April 2011
This is the story of a young woman , her family & friends & the hardships of the mid-west in the 1830's. It was interesting from the first page as there were some excellent descriptions , good dialogue & a very entertaining story-line. Life was tough & there was no time for self-pity as it was a case of get on with it or go under! I was only sorry when I had finished it this book. It was another free down-load which has introduced me to to an author whose future books I will read ,( even the non-free ones).
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VINE VOICEon 2 May 2011
This is the story of Molly McGarvie and her survival in 1838 in St Lawrenceville, Missouri where everything she holds dear and true and loves is taken away from her and her strength in human nature and god is tested.

Happily married to Samuel, with three children, James, Franklin and Louellen with another one on the way. Molly's life is somewhat perfect in her eyes. She tends to her family and their needs and has the support of Betsy who was gifted to her when she married. They are as much friends as they are mistress and servant, master and slave for Betsy is coloured and Missouri is a state where slaves cannot be free.

On the sudden death of her husband, Samuel, Molly finds that his family do not stick together and that far from helping her, Samuel's brother forces her to take stock of her life and try and build a new one elsewhere. Molly's conscious is pricking as she believes that she could have helped save her husband if she had got a different doctor to him in time. As she leaves she also has to give up Betsy as well, but is determined to buy her freedom, for her own benefit not for Betsy's.

On the journey to build a new life in a new settlement Beldon Grove, tragedy and joy are not very far away. Upon settling Molly tries to break free of the constraints of living with her brother and starts to make her own way, with the help of her loom and the cloth that she can weave and sell for cash or barter to make ends meet. Molly starts to become the local attraction for eligible bachelors both young and old but she cannot think any further than restoring her family unit and that includes Betsy.

A beautifully written book, with a beautiful background setting. The descriptions of the settlements, the vast outback, the cattle even down to the slaves and the Red Indians are all covered in detail but at its heart this book is filled with romance. Upon reflection, it has a lot of references to religion and God but for me it was not off putting and I did not feel I was being constantly preached at from the pages of the book. It fitted in the time period of the book and the behaviour of the characters and such was an asset. Although it is a romance, and predictably you can see the outcome, it did make you think about Molly's motives and actions some of the time, especially in relation to Betsy her selfish need did not make her see the bigger picture. Are we not all guilty of that at some point in our lives?

A new genre for me to discover and now I am hooked about what happens at Beldon Grove and want to find out more.
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on 24 July 2014
Great story, more of an everyday (19th century) life book than a romance, Molly is a young widow left with 3 children and another on the way, her brother in law leaves her with nothing to live on and she is left trying to make a living for her family without overly depending on her brother who is willing to take her in but has a family of his own to care for. Molly is a great character, a loving mother who truly mourns her husband, and when one of her children goes missing she never gives up hope that she will see him again one day, even though everyone else thinks the boy must be dead. Despite this brief synopsis this is not a depressing book, and while the romance in it is very low key and really only comes into being near the end of the book it is a happy ending. The first in a series but the other books develop other characters so there is no need to get the next book just to finish Molly's story.
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on 28 June 2012
It's the summer of 1838 in St.Lawerenceville, Missouri, when Molly McGarvie's life changes forever after her husband dies from cholera. Molly is heartbroken, but determined to take care of herself and her three children, and also her unborn child. But her unscrupulous brother in law cheats her out of the family business, and Molly has no choice but to make the dangerous journey to Illinois, where her older brother lives.

She is forced to leave behind Betsy, a slave who is also been her friend since childhood, when she finds her brotherlaw "owns" her. Molly is determined though that once she gets to Illinois, and finds a job, she is going to save her money, and buy back Molly and give her her freedom.

Molly faces tragedy along the journey to Illinois, and once there, she has to struggle to keep the family together. Betsy is also facing her own struggles; she lives under the threat that she may be sold before Molly can bring her to Illinois, and is tempted to try to escape via the Underground Railroad.

I enjoyed this story, it was well written, and the author paid a lot of attention to detail. Very engrossing
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on 8 April 2011
Never read this author before, just downloaded it because it was free, from page one i could not put this down, it is a delightful read. Please dont take my word for it read it for yourself. Cant wait to read more from this author now.
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on 15 February 2015
I found it hard to put this book down as I was keen to see how situations were resolved--at the same time, I didn't want it to end!
It was interesting to read about a young widow's struggle to bring up her four children and to read of her belief that a son who got lost wasn't dead when everybody else was certain that he had to be, and how he was eventually restored to her. It was heart warming to read of the way in which a small community supported one another . I'd like to know what happened to the family next!
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on 9 January 2015
This is the story of a young woman , her family and friends & the hardships of the mid-west in the 1830's.
its about Molly McGarvie and her survival in 1838 in St Lawrenceville ,I have not read this author before, just downloaded it because it was free, from page one i was gripped could not put this down, and will read more books by this author now
A truly brilliant book and read
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on 20 August 2011
I was delighted with this book. It was an American historical novel about a family who were loosely connected to the heart wrenching thought of slavery in the 1800s. The characters were believable, and although the ending was somewhat predictable, I felt the story was open sufficiently at the end for the follow on. I look forward to reading book two.
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on 22 April 2011
I downloaded this free for my kindle and I found it entertaining and fairly well written. I am not a great fan of romances but I do like to read novels based in the past. The storyline is uncomplicated and you can more or less guess what will happen but on the whole it's worth a read if you want something light and easy.
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on 1 January 2015
I didn't think I would like this book as it was not something I would normally have chosen however once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved the twists and turns of the story. The characters were well described.
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