A Man for Temperance
In 1850, Temperance Peabody, aged 32, manages her OregonTerritory homestead all alone and tends to her neighbors during a cholera outbreak. Her life is serene and uncomplicated until Thaddeus Brennan, a heavy-drinking, scarred soul in trouble with the law, lands on her doorstep and irrevocably changes her placid life. When God calls on Temperance to take her neighbors’ orphaned children back east, she must rely on Thaddeus to be her guide. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Temperance contends with changing Thaddeus’ coarse ways, keeping the children safe, and learning to maneuver the dangers of the Oregon Trail.
Despite this mismatched straitlaced Christian woman and loutish drifter, the intensities of their trek help the two find common ground. Interspersed with lively characters and accurate historical detail, this makes for an engrossing read. Morris successfully brings the Oregon Trail to life; readers can almost taste the dust the wagon kicks up as it treks back east. Temperance is a charming heroine with a big heart and caring soul, and although Thaddeus’s overnight transformation into a gentleman rings slightly unbelievable, this is a sweet story spiced with just the right amount of inspiration and romance.