Monday, May 11, 2015

Literary Tourism - Wyoming

Whales are one of my favorite things, but romance novels aren't.

When I was in college, some of my neighbors wanted to shoot off fireworks.  They wanted to do it legally so they went to Wyoming and I went with them.  My experience in Wyoming was eating at a truck stop and covering my ears while fireworks exploded.

Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden

Katie Macauley has traveled all the way to the Wyoming frontier to work as a housekeeper and earn return passage to Ireland where she has left a tortured past.  Her goal is to get out of Hope Springs as quickly as possible.  But Irish are not welcome in that town and her employment brings responsibilities she can't handle.  Her prickly presence and refusal to be bullied cause a rucous in the town and thwart her plans.  A love triangle ensues..

I debated long and hard whether or not to count this for Wyoming because I find that romances are often weak on historical facts.  But this author really put the time and energy into creating an authentic period despite the all too convenient town name.  The land is dry and barren.  Each villager had to struggle to build irrigation and plant crops in a difficult terrain.  Conflicts between the Irish immigrants and long-time citizens of the United States felt real and deep.  In a place with limited resources of course there would be tension.

I read this book for my church book group and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.  I tend to avoid romance, but I thought this one carried more depth than others I have read. The book is 100% clean which I think makes it feel more appropriate to the period as well.  I'm even excited to read the sequel. 

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