Sunday, May 22, 2011

Heartbreak Trail-Shirley Kennedy

Heartbreak Trail
Shirley Kennedy
Camel Press, Dec 3 2010, $18.95
ISBN: 9781603818315

In 1850 Boston, twenty-six years old Brahmin Lucy Parker knew there was no place for her in the mansion of her widower father when he married Little Napoleon. When she and widower father Jacob Schneider meet at her younger sister Sarah’s wedding, they are attracted to one another and marry three months later.

However, Lucy is unprepared when Jacob informs her that they, accompanied by his five years old son Noah and his brother Abner will head to California seeking gold. On the wagon train heading west, Jacob dies leaving behind a pregnant wife to raise her stepson and their unborn. Train leader Clint Palance, who met Lucy in Boston, protects her and her child while Abner is scornful of her and his nephew.

More a historical tale with a romantic subplot, readers will feel they are part of the harrowing wagon train heading west. Although a different trail the deep detailed descriptions reminded me of the Oregon Trail game. The trek is dangerous for a seasoned scot like Palance, but even more difficult for a pampered miss like Lucy. The audience will enjoy riding along Heartbreak Trail as gold fever strikes the country.

Harriet Klausner

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