This is Noble’s second book in her Brides of Gabriel series, which continues the story of Mary Rose and Gabriel MacKay in their new lives as Mormons following Brigham Young on a great journey to the Salt Lake Valley. The story spans several years, starting in 1842 as Gabriel takes a second wife, Bronwyn. Bronwyn struggles to cope with her decision and acceptance of this new religion, especially when Gabriel marries a third wife. As Mary Rose and Bronwyn develop a plan to escape the confines of their new life, events unfold that change their lives forever – including the return of someone they thought lost at sea.
Noble engages the reader from the very start, capturing the despair and helplessness sister-wives felt as their identities, independence, and ability to choose were slowly taken away from them. Bronwyn is torn between love for her husband, faithfulness to her friend and God, and her growing concerns about the practice of polygamy. This story digs deep into the actual practices, emotions, and religious struggles that these travelers experienced on their journey for salvation and provides a unique look at a fascinating historical time. Highly recommended.