Set in the American Midwest of the 1870s, this three-novel story blends mystery, romance, history, and family drama in over 30 hours of entertaining, fast-paced listening. See why listeners rave about the writing, the plot twists, and the characters.
Nell Lillington is a spoiled, headstrong 16-year-old when she finds herself pregnant after letting a flirtation with handsome Cousin Jack get out of hand. More willing to bear the consequences of an illegitimate pregnancy than marry, she refuses to name the father and agrees to give birth in a Poor Farm and give the baby up for adoption. At the Poor Farm she meets Tess O'Dugan, a woman the world calls an imbecile but who soon becomes the sister Nell never had.
Martin Rutherford, Nell's childhood friend, only learns of baby Sarah when Nell seeks to escape from the Poor Farm - with the child. His own aversion to marriage stems from his dark, unhappy childhood, and despite his attachment to Nell he makes no objection to her plan to move to Kansas, away from prying eyes, with Tess and Sarah. Martin, now free of family ties, has his own plans - he wishes to build a grand department store in Chicago and become one of that growing city's merchant princes.
But Nell and Martin's plans are steered off course by the secrets and lies of other people, and their paths to happiness are strewn with murder. Nell's story will take you from the Illinois prairie, to frontier Kansas, and back to a Chicago teeming with opportunistic new Americans and ruthless men.
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Murder, Mystery, Intrigue, Romance (Yet Clean).
Yes, I would. It is a great story with lots of action and intrigue. The main character Nell is a very strong, impetuous, and good-hearted girl. She is sometimes foolish (because of her age) and she gets herself into some dangerous situations. You are always cheering for her. Nell grapples with the constraints put on women in her era. She wrestles with both the freedom marriage allows and the burden it entails. This is an organic part of the story and written realistically rather than trying to forward any particular ideology. This is a great book (3 books actually) because the story provides lot of action, intrigue, romance, several murder mysteries and chick lit themes of wrestling with what women's empowerment/freedom really is. It is a complex and entertaining book that is clean enough to be safe for a teenager and complex enough for an adult.
The most memorable in my mind is when Nell's vicious step-father throws her infant child into the middle of a rushing river and Nell jumps in to save her. This book is full of carefully crafted memorable scenes. It is very exciting yet relatively clean.
I love the scenes where Nell's mentally challenged friend Tess provides clear direction out of her mess. Tess is my favorite character. Her simple faith and confidence are a refreshing contrast to the somewhat irreligious main character.
You would definitely want to but at over thirty hours, it would be impossible. The beauty of this book is that it can be enjoyed over a long period so you don't face withdrawal symptoms as quickly. Don't you hate having to find another good book after finishing an excellent one?
This is a really good book. I received this book for free from the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This audiobook was given to me for a honest unbiased review. This was good. I love historically set romances. This trilogy being in one convenient book made my day. This was not your typical plot for this genre, this has substance. I love how the main character made her own family.