The Hope of Azure Springs

Written by Rachel Fordham
Review by Sara Dahmen

When an unknown young woman is found shot but barely alive, her appearance in Azure Springs sets off a chain of events Sheriff Caleb Reynolds must slowly unwind to both win the woman’s trust and get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her past. Along the way, Caleb must deal with his inner demons, as well as learn how beauty and friendship have many definitions. The young woman, Em, has her own growth and nightmares to face, though it might be that her strength is in her ability to do something so simple: be herself.

The Hope of Azure Springs is a multi-layered study of humanity within the past, showing how emotional upheaval and internal conflicts were as real in the 1800s as they are today. With a cast of characters detailed through their deeds, Fordham offers a realistic taste of a Midwestern town. There were orphans on trains, men harmed by the deeds of their parents, and spoiled brats, and insecurity in oneself was as rife in the hearts of our forbearers. Written with a deep understanding of the human spirit and psyche, The Hope of Azure Springs is a reprieve from traditional gritty westerns.