Monday, October 6, 2008

The Star Garden-Nancy E. Turner

The Star Garden
Nancy E. Turner
Dunne, Nov 2008, $14.95
ISBN: 0312363176

In 1906 Arizona Territory, forty-six years old twice widowed Sarah Agnes Prine lives with a horde of family members in a house rebuilt by rich ruthless Rudolfo Maldonado; who once worked for her and even proposed though she said no. Meanwhile her neighbor Udell Hanna wants the reluctant Sarah to marry him.

When Sarah rides on her property she comes across a nasty stagecoach accident in which the driver and a passenger died. She takes the three survivors, Miss James, Professor Fairhaven and Professor Osterhaus into her large home until they can continue their journey. Udell shows his love for Hannah when he enrolls her in classes at the university where the professors are teaching. As she enjoys school, someone who she thought was a friend is causing dangerous problems on her ranch.

This engaging historical tale is told in a journal format but contains plenty of action while focusing on the life of Sarah just before statehood. Sarah is a stupendous person dealing with courtships, family feuds, bandits and an unknown deadly stalker. Readers will enjoy this deep look at a pioneer who takes the early steps so that a century later women can claim we’ve come a long way.

Harriet Klausner

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