Cover image for Westering women : a novel
Title:
Westering women : a novel
ISBN:
9781250239662
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
327 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
It's February, 1852, and all around Chicago, Maggie sees the postings soliciting "eligible women" to travel to the gold mines of Goosetown. A young seamstress with a small daughter and several painful secrets, she has nothing to lose. So she joins forty-three other women and two pious reverends on the dangerous 2,000-mile journey west. None of them are prepared for the hardships they face on the trek through the high plains, mountains, and deserts, or for the triumphs of finding strengths they did not know they possessed. And not all will make it. As Maggie gets to know the other women, she soon discovers that she's not the only one looking to leave dark secrets behind. And when her past catches up with her, it becomes clear a band of sisters will do whatever it takes to protect one of their own. --
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Summary

Summary

From the bestselling author of Prayers for Sale , Sandra Dallas' Westering Women is an inspiring celebration of sisterhood on the perilous Overland Trail

AG Journal's RURAL THEMES BOOKS FOR WINTER READING | Hasty Book Lists' BEST BOOKS COMING OUT IN JANUARY

" Exciting novel ... difficult to put down." -- Booklist


"If you are an adventuresome young woman of high moral character and fine health, are you willing to travel to California in search of a good husband?"

It's February, 1852, and all around Chicago, Maggie sees postings soliciting "eligible women" to travel to the gold mines of Goosetown. A young seamstress with a small daughter, she has nothing to lose. She joins forty-three other women and two pious reverends on the dangerous 2,000-mile journey west.

None are prepared for the hardships they face on the trek or for the strengths they didn't know they possessed. Maggie discovers she's not the only one looking to leave dark secrets behind. And when her past catches up with her, it becomes clear a band of sisters will do whatever it takes to protect one of their own.


Author Notes

Sandra Dallas graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in journalism and began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week.

While a reporter, she began writing nonfiction which include Sacred Paint, which won the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Western Heritage Wrangler Award, and The Quilt That Walked to Golden, recipient of the Independent Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Award.

Turning to fiction in 1990, Sandra has published a number of novels including Buster Midnight's Cafe, Alice's Tulips, and Prayers For Sale. She is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award for New Mercies, and two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award, for The Chili Queen and Tallgrass. In addition, she was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Association Award, and a four-time finalist for the Women Writing the West Willa Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

The entertaining latest from Dallas (Some Place to Call Home) focuses on a motley group of women who form a bond traveling to California on the Overland Trail. In 1852 Chicago, Maggie sees a notice posted by a minister offering to lead "moral" women to the western mines of Goosetown in order to find husbands. Having been abused by her husband, Maggie sees the chance for a better life for herself and her four-year-old daughter, Clara. She's encouraged to join by Mary, a kind and capable woman who becomes one of her closest friends and a leader on the trail. After Mary concocts a story to help her bypass the requirements, Maggie sets off on a taxing journey during which the women are plagued by disease, attacks from Native warriors, and other hardships that bring them together. As trust grows, the others reveal their own agendas for having joined, such as a search for a sibling and a hidden pregnancy. The women learn to shoot, move their wagons through arduous routes, and fight off threats. There's not much nuance in the way the villains are portrayed, but readers will enjoy this modern take on the journey West that's rife with girl power. (Jan.)


Booklist Review

In February 1859, a wagon train leaves Chicago for the 2,000-mile journey to California, carrying 44 women of high moral character in search of good husbands. Had Maggie Kaiser been honest, she would not have been invited, but she is not the only one with secrets. Penn is running from a violent man, and Mary from her own brother. Dora is pregnant, and Bessie, who brought her servant, is hiding a shocking truth. As they battle cholera, deprivation, and other dangers, the women share stories which, like links in a chain, make them stronger. When an attempted rape triggers a walkout by the male drivers, these brave women vowing never to go back to what they were before get the wagons across the western mountains alone. Female bonding in the nineteenth century had dangers unique to the era. Maggie's unsuitable friendships, forged over shared hardships and the impossibility of returning home, make this exciting novel difficult to put down.--Jeanne Greene Copyright 2019 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Maggie Kaiser and her daughter leave Chicago for what she hopes will be a better life out West. They join a wagon train of potential wives to gold miners led by Rev. William Parnell and his brother-in-law, Rev. Joseph Swain. As the group of women become more comfortable with one another, Maggie realizes that many of them are running away from past lives and secrets. The women learn to drive the wagons, tend the oxen, cook over campfires, and shoot guns, coalescing into a close-knit band of sisters. When the teamsters desert the wagon train, it is up to the women and two ministers to continue. Pregnancies, raging rivers, Indian attacks, rocky cliffs, blizzards, and 40-mile-long deserts are perilous obstacles that force the women to grow and learn more about themselves and one another along the way. VERDICT Though the dialog can be stilted at times, Dallas (The Bride's House) has written an engaging historical fiction about the strength of women in times of adversity. Though the women were all intended to be brides, we see each as much more than her connection to a man--a unique perspective in the 1850s. Purchase where women's and historical fiction is popular. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]--Brooke Bolton, Boonville-Warrick Cty. P.L., IN