‘Til Her Heart Dances

Written by Thomas Macy
Review by B. J. Sedlock

Ann Johnson has seen the elephant; her journey to California started when she posed as a boy and signed onto a whaling ship in previous volumes (First Fury and Ruined). Now in 1851, she is returning East from the gold fields, accompanied by Seth Kirkpatrick, Coonie, and Bekah, an orphan Ann adopted after rescuing her from forced prostitution. The story follows the four on their overland journey, as Bekah attempts to cope with her trauma, and Seth and Ann discover a mutual attraction. But towards the end of their journey, Ann witnesses Seth and Bekah embracing. She refuses to hear to any explanations of Seth’s betrayal. Has Ann lost her chance for happiness?

Only bits and pieces of the backstory are revealed in this third volume of Ann’s story, so I felt I was lacking information that might have been relevant in understanding the characters. The train journey section became a bit tedious and could have used more editing. Macy chose a few odd word combinations, such as “eyes began to retch.” Bekah’s attempts to come to terms with her traumatic past were depicted believably. All in all, this inspirational novel was OK, but additional editing and backstory would have improved it.