Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Home At Trail’s End-Melody Carlson

A Home At Trail’s End

Melody Carlson

Harvest House, Jul 1 2013, $13.99

ISBN: 9780736948753

In 1857 widow Elizabeth Martin fulfills the dream she shared with her late husband James when she, her children (Jamie and Ruth) and other family members reach their Oregon homestead. She hopes wagon master, Eli Kincade will stay with her as she loves him and him her, but to her consternation instead he leaves, as he not ready for roots.

Though feeling alone, Elizabeth joins with others trying to build a community. Eli returns to Elizabeth’s joy and they marry. Meanwhile a fire and brimstone minister divides the community leading to Elizabeth’s father preaching from his house; and racism flourishes with Elizabeth's black employee Brady a target and Eli due to his genuine caring for the Indians.

The final Homeward on the Oregon Trail (see A Dream For Tomorrow and Westward Hearts) is a fabulous finish to a wonderful mid nineteenth century Americana due to a strong cast and vivid scenery. Eli’s leaving and returning feel unnecessary as the profound look into racism and religious bias make for a strong historical fiction.

Harriet Klausner

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