I am partial to books where the setting is the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon Trail is always a fascination for me, and it was nice to read a well-researched book that took place during the time of great Westward expansion. It was also nice that this is a clean romance with Christian principles--always a plus.
I liked Samantha--nice, strong Pioneer woman. And her brother, Daniel, was the typical boy who often got himself into scrapes. Then you had Alex, the English gentleman who prefers the "Wild West." The characters were the typical stereotypical characters for this kind of romance, but at least they were well-developed. The author even threw a few surprises into the plot that made things interesting.
I appreciated the fact that there was no sex nor profanity. I could have done with a little more about God and Christianity. Yes, Christian principles were there, but sometimes I didn't see the characters' faith as well as I would have liked to. I also didn't see the romance budding between the characters in the same way I would like to, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book.
The Pacific Northwest landscape in the book was truly a joy for me to read about. To read about Fort Vancouver, the Willamette Valley, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River was truly a nice treat. When you live in the Pacific Northwest, it's nice to read about such familiar areas. There are enough books written about New York, California, and England, but very few about my neck of the woods!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
A story of a strong woman, who was willing to take stand up for what was right.
A bit slow to start, this book intrigued me with it's many well developed characters. I thought this book was especially interesting because it wasn't your typical Oregon Trail journey, it was about some of the wagon trains that actually blazed the trail instead of just following it!
Samantha, the main character, is very strong and I liked how she was willing to take a stand. And there were many other great characters like the Kneedlers. I thought that the characters acted very realistcally, and I could understand why there was probably more than a little conflict along the way!
This story was almost like three different stories interwoven into one, which I really liked because then I got to see more stories than just one. One of my favorites was Jack and Aliyah's :)
Overall, I found this book very enjoyable, and the more I think back on it the more things I find to appreciate. I really liked how this book was more than a romance, it was about the struggle, the journey, the challenge, and the hardship of leaving everything they'd ever known, of some very courageous people who blazed the trail west. The characters were well written, and I came to really like Samantha and Alex, as well as many others like Micah, Samantha's brother. This is a book I would happily recommend :)
I received this book through Litfuse from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Melanie Dobson's latest offering, Where the Trail Ends, is part of the new Tapestries of America series from Summerside Press. When Samantha's family sets out for Oregon, they are confident that they are traveling to a better life. Along the way, they face many obstacles and Samantha and her brother must finish their journey alone. Samantha is determined to make a good life for them and must rely on the new friends she meets at Fort Vancouver to help them.
I had high hopes for this book, but it fell a little short for me. While it was marketed as a romance, I found it to be more ... "romance light." The story was more of a combination adventure / coming-of-age story. The book started out fairly slow, but about halfway through it picked up and I got really into it. Dobson does a great job of giving readers a great picture of life on the Oregon Trail. What a hard journey! As a fan of Melanie Dobson's previous books, this wasn't my favorite, but I'll definitely read whatever she writes in the future. [3 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Summerside Press and Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Melanie's book portrays a group of Americans traveling West in 1842 over what came to be known as The Oregon Trail. They were some of the first. In 1843, Melanie says in her Author Notes, more than nine hundred men, women, and children emigrated in what is now known as "the Great Migration." "During the next twenty years, approximately three hundred thousand Americans traveled West on the Oregon Trail." (327)
Where the Trail Ends is a great historical novel. Melanie has done her research and portrays what it was like to travel West before The Oregon Trail was well established. The wagon trails were run like a democracy with an elected train leader and a list of rules.
The novel follows eighteen year old Samantha, her young brother Micah, their father, and the family's wolfhound Boaz. The father had planned the trip West for their mother as it was thought the western location would be better for her illness but the trip came to late. It would be two thousand miles from their Ohio home to the Willamette Valley. Two thousand miles of hardship.
Interspersed with Samantha's story is that of Alexander Clarke in Fort Vancouver and an agent of a fur trading company in London. He is getting experience in all aspects of the business as it seems he will soon be running the company. He has a woman of London's society waiting for him back in London - a marriage planned more for social reasons than love.
Melanie has done an excellent job of telling the story of those who came through the mountains, across rivers, through terrible weather, and more, to reach the land they planned to farm. The harsh travel conditions are accurately represented and there is just enough romance to lighten the severity of the story. I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.