As this subtle title suggests, in Courting Felicity, the reader is invited to read more into the action and romance offered in this historical novel by Isabel Huff, her second novel, than the first impression might offer. The preface of local history and historical photos circa 1914, affords the setting as the fiction story unrolls to an earlier time; steamships ply the Kootenai River, railroads are built and loggers, homesteaders and tycoon developers put down roots in this hospitable valley of far Northern Idaho.
This setting is the author's home where she lives with her husband of 48 years in a log house built by the original homesteaders some 90 years ago; the house where he grew up. Retired cattle ranchers and farmers, they still garden, raise blueberries and maintain their home. The cover photo taken by the author is of the first cabin built on the homestead but now serves as a boat house for their kayaks.
Isabel Huff's protagonist, Hank Phillips, is a God fearing young blacksmith with a deep love of the horses he oversees. He files on a one hundred sixty acre homestead of raw land and timber, and dreams of a big house and a fine cattle ranch, instead of living in the crowded bunk house at the lumber camp where he works. His elation is dashed almost immediately by a very unjust firing from his job and he is forced to live in a rude camp he quickly builds on his new land.
But by hard-work and resourcefulness Hank soon acquires a new job, and friends and neighbors who respect him. He also gains the affections of a beautiful young school teacher, Felicity Logan, who he hopes will share his dreams. But a young bachelor of this stature doesn't go un-noticed, not by, Janey Cumberland, who's embrace of the west leaves Hank shaking his head.
The author's colorful parade of characters include strong ambitious women, an unscrupulous imposter, a gutsy old teamster, a band of Kootenai Indians; who lived here first, and others who find shelter and promise in the Kootenai Valley . They make for a fun and memorable reading experience.