Land of My Heart
In the final years of the Civil War, the Chadwick family’s trek westward to Montana symbolizes their journey closer to God. After her father is shot dead in the street of New Madrid, Missouri, feisty 16-year-old Dianne Chadwick convinces her mother to move their family west to Idaho Territory. Conditions are rough, and in a series of melodramatic accidents and illnesses, not everyone survives. Cole Selby, the second-in-command on the wagon train, can’t forgive himself or his father for a devastating incident from his past. Sparks fly between him and Dianne.
Too many annoying characters predominate early on, but once the group reaches their destination, the story comes together nicely. The portrayals of Dianne’s Uncle Bram and his wife, a gentle half-Indian woman who does nothing to deserve the scorn she receives, are particularly well done. Provided the characters remain in the beautiful Montana setting, I look forward to the rest of the trilogy.