Letter Perfect


In 1859, nineteen-year-old Ruth Caldwell fulfills her mother’s dying wish that she go to California to live with the father she has never known. When Ruth arrives, young Josh McCain, Jr., greets her with unexpected news: Ruth’s father has recently died, giving her a claim to half of the ranch owned by her father and the McCain family. As Ruth settles in with Josh and his family, humor, friendship, and romance ensue – and danger, as Josh makes a series of troubling discoveries that will change life at the Broken P Ranch forever.

Good-hearted but with an ineptitude for artificial social graces that has gotten her kicked out of a number of schools for young ladies, Ruth is a charming, likable heroine with an appealing habit of speaking her mind. The dialogue is lively and natural, and the narrative flows nicely.

Letter Perfect has romance, mystery, suspense, and gentle humor. For the most part, the lighter and the darker elements of the novel fit well together, though in the closing pages I found their juxtaposition to be somewhat jarring. All in all, though, this was a well-done novel that allows us to see the worst side of human nature without ever losing sight of the best.

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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award






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