About the Book:
Disowned, she came to America anyway. Attacked and left pregnant by a vicious mob, she still pressed on. Finally, in spite of being accused of theft by the vilest of her attackers, Giselle tries to remain as upbeat and uncomplaining as a prairie wildflower as she travels on to Zion.
Thoroughly disillusioned with the ugliness and cruelty of slavery in the South, Trace Grayson leaves his young medical career to go west, hoping to leave bigotry and hatred behind. He begins taking goods by teamster train to sell in the territories. However, this fourth time across, in July of 1848, he’s stuck in St. Joseph, Missouri, waiting for enough wagons to join the train so that they can leave.
Knowing that if they don’t start west soon, they’ll be caught by snow in the mountains, Trace is thrilled when the final wagon signs on. Then, when the beautiful, young Dutch girl traveling with the last wagon is falsely accused of stealing and is detained, the whole trip is jeopardized. Thrown together by circumstance, Trace and Giselle team up to begin to figure out just how to make this epic journey across a continent a success.
With a deep sense of honor and an equally strong sense of humor, together they learn to deal with everything except the one trial that neither of them can overcome.
Jaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out of doors, the youth and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe.
Trace and Giselle are two of the sweetest characters! They really fit their roles perfectly. The plot line, while being a fast read, was not a light one. The trials that Trace dealt with, escaping a life surrounded by the bigotry and slavery to head west….that takes courage. His character was life like and strong. I felt my heart reach out to him on many occasions throughout reading this wonderful book.
Giselle, bless her heart. She went through a TERRIBLE ordeal. She was a hero in my eyes, just for surviving the things she did. As she traveled west on the wagon train, I easily felt my self beside her, wanting to hug her and comfort her. But, when she meets Trace, well the story becomes so much more real and loving, as I read through the book and watched Trace and Giselle interact and fall in love.
If you like the historical stories of the old west, and the wagon trains, and just an all around inspiring story, then I highly recommend this novel with 5 stars! It will pull you in, grip your heart and throw you on a wagon heading west to a better place. This is definitely a book that I would read again and recommend to all my friends and family. Well done, Ms. Hawkes!