The Road to Magnolia Glen

Written by Pam Hillman
Review by Martha Hoffman

Kiera Young and Quinn O’Shea “meet cute” on the boat from Ireland to Mississippi in 1792. Kiera, her two younger sisters in tow, is headed to an arranged marriage, while Quinn plans to drop his younger brothers with elder brother Connor, whom he resents for abandoning them.

When Kiera’s marriage contract actually turns out to be an indenture to a brothel, Quinn and his friends leap to the sisters’ aid, whisking them away to Connor’s plantation. Class differentiations quickly disappear as Kiera shows herself perfectly capable of rolling up her sleeves and putting together a kitchen for workers and travelers, while Quinn wrestles with forgiving his brother and giving up his desire to wander the world. The threat to all three sisters is not over when old enemies of Connor get involved.

Evoking the South of plantations without the stain of slavery is a bit of fantasy, and Quinn’s dilemma is reiterated perhaps one too many times. Late in the book, faith becomes a prominent theme, which makes historical sense but sticks out in the midst of a more swashbuckling tale. On the whole, though, it’s an engaging story. This book is the second in the Natchez Trace series but can be easily read on its own.