Caroline Milburn is returning home to live with her sister after being widowed and taking care of their elderly aunt. In the two months since she received notice of her husband’s official status as a casualty of the Civil War, she has yet to formulate a plan for her life. The thought of staying where her brother-in-law so clearly considers her a burden is daunting but there are very few options for a widow in 1866. As the town becomes inflamed with “Westward Ho” fever, she begins to wonder if God has a future for her out West. The only obstacle in sight is the handsome leader of the wagon train, a man who wore the uniform of the side that took her husband’s life.
Mona Hodgson spins an entertaining but predictable tale with “Ripples Along the Shore,” which isn’t necessarily all bad. Like most romances, there is the insurmountable obstacle to the attraction and the obvious suitability of the characters. I think the part that left me a little cold in this book was the dialogue, particularly when the characters are speaking of religious matters. The character’s words seem preachy and forced instead of flowing with the story. Apart from that, it was a reasonably entertaining and interesting story. It does, however, completely ignore the mourning practices of the time period. If you aren’t a stickler for history, this is a nice story with a few nice romance lines. I’d give this book a 3.5 rating. It’s not the best I’ve read in its genre but it’s certainly not the worst and it does have a nice “warm fuzzy” quality to it.
This book was provided to me by WaterBrook Press for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own.