Publication Date: September 2015
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Baker Publishing Group
“I was discovering the past I remembered wasn’t always the past that was.”
The novel begins in Brownsville, Oregon Territory in the year 1851. Eliza Spalding is a sad, confused young girl of 13, mature beyond her years. Her mother, also named Eliza, passed away leaving the care of three younger children to her oldest daughter, Eliza. Thus begins the story of Eliza Spalding’s life in the Oregon Territory. The tale unfolds over the course of the novel moving back and forth between the past, in Eliza’s dreams and her mother’s diary entries, and the present, her life raising her siblings, marrying Andrew Warren, and dealing with her life as it progresses over the years.
The novel is based on real people and real historical events which are detailed in the diary entries and telling of past and present life events along with the fiction details imagined by the author. The historical detail was very interesting and the author completed extensive amounts of research in retelling the tale and adding to the story. The book is grounded in faith based messages and the reality of struggles many families face in spite of their love for each other. The strongest theme running through the storyline is that what we remember isn’t always the reality that existed.
The diary entries slowed the pace of the story at times. Some of them were very necessary for understanding events that occurred in the past and to gain better understanding of Henry Spalding. I have mixed feelings about the book due to the pacing and repetitive nature of the retelling of certain events in the book. However, I enjoyed the novel and particularly her use of language toward the end. A rather serious novel not to be read lightly!
This ARC copy was received from Baker Publishing and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.