I enjoyed this book so much, but it left me with questions about some of the characters. So I emailed the author and she answered right back, giving me the title of the next book in the series that would answer my questions. I plan to buy it as soon as I can find it.
What a page-turner this novel proved to be! A proper lady from England, along with her maid become part of a wagon train traveling across America as they search for a missing uncle. The vivid details pulled me into the story. Although delicate, the ladies decide that they will transform themselves into strong, capable pioneer women. They learn to drive a wagon with a team of mules, make edible biscuits over an outdoor fire, and sleep on the lumpy ground.
I enjoyed watching the relationship between Lady Anne and Elise develop into friendship. I look forward to the next book in this series.
The Lady's Maid by Susan Page Davis Prairie Dreams Book 1
Lady Anne Stone has just lost her father, the Earl of Stoneford. Her cousin Randolph was ready to take the title and the fortune with it but they can do nothing until they know if her Uncle David is dead or alive. He was in America last they heard but that was ten years ago. Elise Finster is Anne's maid. She has worked for the family since she was sixteen. She now fears she will be looking for new employment. Lady Anne has a different plan though, to go to America and find Uncle David, who unbeknownst to Anne, has always held a special place in Elise's heart.
The story is focused on Elise. Her struggles to treat Anne as a friend and not use her proper titles so they do not look wealthy and become targets and to keep her mistress safe in this rough and strange country. When they run into dead ends in St. Louis they head to Independence. The only bit of information they can find sends them on the Oregon Trail with a wagon train. They hire a man to help them, unknown to them that Thomas had been hired to follow them and find out about David. Ed Bentley, called Eb, is dead set against these high bred English women going with but his partner, Rob, disagrees. As they head down the trail both Anne and Elise learn the basics of cooking, cleaning and taking care of mules, even driving them.
Susan writes in such ways that you are traveling along the Oregon trail with them, feeling the fears and frustrations as well as the joys. Seeing the beauty along the way as well.