Title: Waltz in the Wilderness
Author: Kathleen Denly
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: Feb 4, 2020
Publisher: Wild Heart Books
About the Book:
She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.
Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.
Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancée is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.
When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?
What an awesome debut! I don’t even know where to start, but I really enjoyed this one and wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters at the end of the book. It was easy for me to get into it and imagine the setting as if I was standing right next to the characters. The plot was well developed to keep the flow moving and readers engaged. Overall a very solid read.
Eliza was one of those characters that I felt like I could relate to a little too much. She was a woman on a mission and nothing was going to get in her way, but at the same point her drive blinded her to logic and it often resulted in frustrating set-back.How easy can it be for us to get frustrated when other people don’t feel the same level of anxiousness in a situation and we try to force them instead of pausing and recognizing the need to slow down and think. It can save a lot of time, energy, and resentment in the end.
I really liked the character growth in this one and it wasn’t just for Eliza. Initially you see how each of the characters handle their anxieties in their own way but over time the more they grow the more they learn to lean on God instead of trying to control their circumstances. Or on the flip side if they choose to look within themselves and act out of fear, you see how their circumstances only seem to grow even more overwhelming. I thought the author did a wonderful job of showing this through more than one personality yet was still able to teach the same lesson.
I really enjoyed this one and can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next. I will definitely be looking forward to reading more from her in the future. I highly recommend this to other historical fiction fans.
*I received a copy of this book from the author. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.