About the book:
A young woman traveling the Oregon Trail in 1841 must rely on a stranger to bring her to safety. After losing her parents along the trail to Oregon Country, Samantha Waldron and her young brother, Daniel, must overcome tremendous challenges to reach the Willamette Valley before winter. When their canoe capsizes on the Columbia River, they rely on handsome British exporter Alexander Clarke to escort them to Fort Vancouver. A number of men vie for Samantha’s affections, but the only one who intrigues her is the one she cannot have. When Alex’s betrothed arrives from Britain, Samantha becomes determined to create a home far away from the fort. But when Daniel disappears into the wilderness alone one night, Samantha must rely on the man she loves to rescue her brother before it’s too late.
In some ways this story reminded me of others I'd read about the journey west on the Oregon Trail, but strangely it was less depressing than most. I liked how the author portrayed the heroine and the mettle she had that helped her endure to the end. It took a lot of determination to survive back in the pioneer days. So many people died on the way. But at the same time, for those who arrived, there had to be so much joy at arriving at their destination, especially after having traveled for so long.
The love story was sweet and the tension between them palpable at times. But the hero was a man of honor, and of course, there had to be the typical misunderstanding that often happens in romantic fiction. I enjoyed the story and the strong heroine, and at the same time I didn't find it as compelling as some of Melanie's other books. But I couldn't stop reading, so the pacing was just right to keep me hanging on to the end. If you enjoy historical fiction, you'll enjoy this novel. It shows the many of the hardships the emigrants traveling out west experienced, but without the gloomy feeling that often accompanies such historical tales.
Now for the question: Do you have any relatives who went to Oregon searching for a better life? I did. My grandmother road to Oregon in a covered wagon in the early 1900s. She was born in 1898. Yes, some people still traveled out west the old fashioned way even at the turn of the century. She told me this herself when she was still alive back in the late 1980s. Her family moved to Oregon from Oklahoma where she was born.
Where the Trail Ends was published by Summerside Press and will release October 1st.