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52 Books in 52 Weeks: “Summer of Promise”

Welcome to week 24 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks [1]” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up [1]!

I promise you I have been reading- I am just WAY behind on writing reviews!

This week I read Summer of Promise: A Novel (Westward Winds) [2] by Amanda Cabot.  Some of you may remember I read her book “Paper Roses [3]” earlier this year.

I was fully expecting to enjoy this book and really did.  Set in 1885 it’s during a time when the country was expanding out West rapidly and still reeling from the results of the Civil War.  It’s also set just a bit after Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman [4]– one of my favorite television series so I like the time period.

The main character is Abigail Harding- a teacher in Vermont at a popular school.  Her sister, Charlotte, has married an officer in the military and moved to Wyoming.  As they exchange letters she begins to sense that her sister is no longer happy, though she doesn’t come right out and say it.  Since it is summer break Abigail begins the long journey by train and stagecoach to go visit.

On the last leg of the trip the stagecoach is attacked by bandits and Abigail meets Lieutenant Ethan Bowles- a fellow passenger who jumps up and saves them all from being hurt.  It turns out Ethan is stationed in the same location as her brother-in-law and sister so they develop a friendship.  Abigail is engaged to a fellow teacher back in Vermont but on arriving to see her frail and sickly sister she confirms she was correct to make the journey.

So while you have the blooming romances, conflicts between race, sister in law and brother in law arguments and the difficulties of just living in the West at that time you also have the underlying plot line of the stage coach robberies and who is masterminding them all.  It becomes clear inside information is being shared- the robbers always seem to know which coaches are the easy targets.

All in all it was a nice light read.  And everything gets wrapped up in a nice bow at the end!