The book is quite well written. The scene is Kansas, somewhere between Wichita and Abilene; the harshness and desolation of the landscape is depicted sympathetically. The story relates the further adventures of the heroine, an unwed mother in the 1870s (when that condition earned a great deal of social disapproval and ostracism). She is very skilled as a seamstress, and makes the best of her situation. The title seems to come from the fact that she is frequently deceived by men who want to take advantage of her and rob her of her independence. She's a very strong person, however, and survives some terrible crises. The reason I give it 4 stars instead of 5 is simply that this volume (unlike the first in the series) dwells extensively on the fabrics, patterns, sewing, etc., so it's rather clearly a "women's novel." (I'm not a woman, and I have lived in Kansas quite a while.)
I am really impressed with the author's writing ability. From the moment I read the first book in the series - a freebie on Kindle, I struggled to put it down.
The unfolding saga of the three women, this time on the prairie, mesmerized you. It is filled with intrigue, adventure and a budding romance.
You get involved in Eleanor Lillington's story. Uniquely written, it gives you a very good idea of life for an unwed mother back in the day. The care she took to design a new life for herself with her 4-year-old daughter and the dear Tess. Tess has become a strong character in her own right which I admire greatly.
Sarah's own character develops as the story grows, literally growing with the book and a pleasure to witness.
But my admiration for Nelly is at the forefront. Her willingness to take on new ventures in the midst of people's views elevates her above her peers. Putting them aside to really care for her small family the best she can. Just as with her daughter, she grows in stature dealing with life as it comes along. Her strong willpower and dedication set her apart from other women.
Martin's character hovers still in the background but yet stays prominent. The author's creative writing always bring him to the forefront and I can not help but admire this man. Since day one, he was Nelly's protector and beneficiary. His love and care visible in the letters he sent.
Really a great series I can recommend to all history lovers.
Can't wait to see what happens next with this small group, on their way to new ventures; hopefully with a romance that will bring these group even closer.
I had a hard time staying interested in this one. The first book in the series was very good, but I had to force myself to stay interested in this one. I felt as if all was in limbo waiting for the conclusion that was going to come in the 3rd book. I was correct--the story became more interesting in book #3. If I knew then what I know now, I would just have skipped purchasing #2 since it didn't really add much until near the end. I think I could have read #1 & #2 and gotten the whole story.
Part Two of this saga takes Nell, her daughter, and bestie to the vast empty plains of Kansas, where she finds everything but the peace she was seeking. Finding instead - fights, greed, jealous suitors, and dead bodies - and of course Martin is never far from her thoughts. The third and final book of the series may finally bring Nell to the happily ever after she never thought she wanted.
I'd wanted to give this book 4 stars, but just couldn't. There is a really good story here, it's keeping me intrigued and eager to read what happens next - but there's just so many words! Yes it's a book, of course there's lots of words. But I feel this story could have been told in one well paced book without leaving out a thing. I have to admit there where times I found myself skimming past groups of sentences that added nothing to the story, looking for the place the story would continue on. Having said that - I am enjoying the story. It just takes a little patience to read through it.
Nell came to the seminary deceiving herself that she could hide her secrets from the world. Strangely enough secrets have a way of being discovered. Judah deceived Nell into thinking he could give her respectability. Martin deceived himself in thinking he could be happy without Nell. I loved Nell's inner strength, Tess' wisdom, and Martin's unselfish love. These are characters you want deeper insight into; to know what's going to happen next in their lives. Congratulations to Jane Steen for creating characters who are real.
I had Book 1 of this series on my Kindle for some time and then I read it and was blown away. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into the time period. I've read all 3 books now and applaud the author. I make historical clothing from this time period and was especially drawn to the stories about the sewing and manufacturing of garments. I think there could have been some tension added ad the father of the child been exposed for the cad he was and come into the story to cause some trouble.
Loved it! I spent most of the day reading the continuing story of Eleanor Lillington and do not regret a moment of it. I was right there in Kansas facing every challenge along with her. I am looking forward to delving into her future adventures in Chicago and possibly places unknown...? Thanks for an enjoyable day, Jane Steen!
Nell moved from Victory to make a new life for her daughter and friend, but the lie of having a dead husband did not take long for people to know that it was a lie. She was a seamstress at a seminary for boys and she also sewed for ladies. Martin her friend help her invest her money and she became rich. Judah a teacher at the seminary found out she had money wanted to marry her for her money. He was a man with a past seducing women and a murderer. A very good read.