Having a mother with a past is never easy. For Ruthie Conoboy it becomes the struggle of a lifetime in 1900, the year Tobias Mortlock arrives in the gold mining town of Bodie, California. Ruthie is suspicious of this stranger, but her trusting father gives him a job in the stamp mill. Soon, Ruthie suspects that her mother and Mortlock have become more than friends. Can Ruthie stop this man from destroying her family?
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A clear voice of growing maturity and family love.
A clear and grounded voice expressing the struggle and vulnerability of a young girl coming to terms with the failures of a mother she loves.
The young heroine understands the depths of her mother's pain as she watches in anguish as her mother is publicly shamed and ostracized.
Each character was distinctive and added depth to the story. The reading of Tobias Mortlock was rich with a sinister and ominous flare he so well deserved!
The story was never far from my mind as I waited for available time to jump into listening during flights.
Brigid Amos skillfully captures the vulnerability of a young girl with a wounded heart learning to transcend her disappointment and loss and step into maturity through forgiveness and love.
So, so much more than "Generic Romance Novel"
engrossing, researched, solid
"Agency" is a new buzzword but please forgive me, it's the only word I can think of right now! Ruthie makes her own decisions, acknowledging what she sees as safe and what she thinks of as inappropriate THEN SHE ACTS! I think books with one young woman on the cover can look "romance novel" by default. I don't enjoy those where women, even lead characters, sit around and wait for things to happen to them. That isn't Ruthie and the author did a great job of letting her character act...but not stupidly. Making just any decision would jump the shark and I was pleased that her character was consistently logical and clever as well as emotional.
Also, the author wove mining into the story with great detail but I never felt we were being told as padding, or filler. It worked.
Ruthie helps her mom with a bath and and you can just HEAR how she wants to be a good daughter and comforting, but her more adult sensibilities are wondering if her mom is being overly dramatic about "dying in this town." It was a good, pioneer-spirit sort of feeling when a teen version Ruthie would have told her 2017 mom to quit being a drama llama.
I would like to say here that I thought the narration and pacing were good throughout the book, but I felt the reader didn't find the right tone for the mother's voice. It was an odd pitch, drawn out, and more of a caricature than other people. I did like the stuff she did in the more masculine vocals.
How deep would you go to find the truth about your family?
I was asked to review this work honestly and received a promotional copy for that purpose. My statements here reflect my honest critique of this audiobook.
- Ian B