I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read–as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.
Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere–even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.
Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.
As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill.
This was one of those books that didn't turn out to be what I expected, but turned out to be an amazing story.
I immediately fell in love with Letitia the very first time she was introduced in this story. I woman who has lost her entire family, finally a free woman in the heart of slave country. She has obstacles at every single turn and has to fight for everything she has. She owns exactly one thing in her life, a cow named Charity.
Letitia finds herself in the home of Davey Carson. I felt like their story happened very quickly, but soon we find them making plans and headed out on the Oregon trail. Their relationship has so many ups and downs, trials, hurt, and triumphs. Throughout this story I found myself loving Davey one minute and hating him the next. He turns to be a good man thought, with good intentions, and a love for Letitia. Their story doesn't end how I wanted it, but Letitia is a survivor and she and Charity make a life for themselves.
When we meet Nancy, it is obvious she has her hands full with kids. I adore Nancy and the admiration she has for her husband, Zach. They have such an amazing relationship and the love they have between them is so evident in everything we see in this story. Nancy doesn't really want to head down the Oregon trail, but she is willing to do whatever Zach feels is best for their family.
Nancy's experience on the trail is full of tragedy and broken hearts. Her story is one of struggle and survival for her family. I was so happy to know that she ended up with a wonderful life in Oregon full of love and family by her side.
I didn't love Betsy's story. I had a hard time connecting to her and getting into her life. But when her life finally intersects with the lives of Nancy and Letitia, I find it much more relevant and interesting. She is there when she is needed and becomes a great friend to the women who have arrived in her country.
I enjoyed this book so much, in fact I read it in two days! It is a great look into the history of our country and the costs that was paid by so many families.
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