Monday, August 5, 2013
Book Review: Longing For Home
Today I am THRILLED to be part of the blog tour for Sarah Eden's new book Longing for Home because I love all of Sarah's books. There is just something about her characters and style of writing that strikes a chord with me. This book was no different.
We are introduced to Katie MacCauley who is traveling to the Wyoming territory to accept a job as a housekeeper. She is traveling in the back of a family wagon, uncomfortable around children because of what happened to her sister. The first line of the book is, "Eighteen years had passed since Katie Macauley killed her sister." If that doesn't make you want to keep reading and find out more, I don't know what will. And yes, what happened to her sister is a big part of the book and who Katie is today.
She makes it to her new employer's house who fires her as soon as she opens her mouth and he realizes she is Irish. You see, the town is divided between the Irish and the Americans of the town and Katie tips the balance. Her employer, Joseph Archer, is trying to remain neutral and if he keeps her on, the other people in the town might get upset.
Katie needs the promised employment so she can return to Ireland and make amends to her family so she forces his hand. It's so incredible to me how the author is able to write someone so tenacious and vulnerable at the same time. I loved Katie and her personality. She was true to herself, worried about the people around her, and yet battling her own demons at the same time. The author creates a town filled with people that are endearing, horrible, annoying, and compassionate, but always believable. Some of the things the Irish suffer through made my fingers turn pages faster so I could see how the town/Irish would deal with it. I have Irish ancestors of my own who suffered during the famine and came to Canada, so I really felt connected to these people.
The best part of the book for me, besides Katie as a character, was the love triangle. I love Tavish and all his humor on the outside and real depth on the inside. The other part of the triangle was a bit of a surprise and I don't know how I feel about that part yet. I think I'm firmly Team Tavish right now.
I realized that there is a sequel to the book and was worried that this would be a cliffhanger ending (I hate those) but I should have known Sarah Eden wouldn't do that to her readers. The ending was great and I honestly can't wait for the sequel and to find out what happens next for Katie.
This book is a definite five stars from me. Every historical fiction fan should read this book and put it on your Christmas and birthday lists. Completely loved it.
Here's the back copy:
Though she was only a child during the darkest days of Ireland’s Great Famine, Katie Macauley feels responsible for the loss of her family’s land and the death of her sister. Now a woman grown, Katie has left Ireland for America and the promise of earning money enough to return home again and plead for her family’s forgiveness. She arrives in Hope Springs, Wyoming Territory, a town sharply divided between the Americans who have settled there, with their deep hatred of the Irish, and the Irish immigrants who have come searching for a place to call home. Her arrival tips the precarious balance, and the feud erupts anew. Even in the midst of hatred and violence, however, Katie finds reason to hope. Two men, as different as they are intriguing, vie for her heart, turning her thoughts for the first time toward a future away from Ireland. Katie must now make the hardest decision of her life: stay and give her heart a chance at love, or return home and give her soul the possibility of peace.