Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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Bostonian Kathryn Walsh finds love and trouble in the mining town of Calvada, Calif., in 1875, in this feisty historical from Rivers (The Masterpiece). After Kathryn turns down a marriage proposal from the son of a wealthy industrialist, her mother exiles her to Calvada to appease her stepfather (suggesting Kathryn “trust in the Lord with all your heart... and He will lead you”), though she also signs over a meager inheritance from Kathryn’s uncle who died in Calvada. Matthias Beck, one of the most powerful men in Calvada, immediately notices a resemblance between Kathryn and his friend City Walsh—and that same obstinacy that most likely got City killed. Kathryn revives her uncle’s local newspaper, and when she publishes some prickly articles on a few of Calvada’s leading citizens, protecting Kathryn becomes Beck’s full-time job. Beck also runs for mayor to bring law and order to a town overrun by brothels and saloons, winning sympathy from reformist Katherine. While her tenacity and naivete often put her in harm’s way, they also draw Beck nearer and dearer to her wounded heart. The scene-setting tends to be long-winded, but Kathryn’s independent streak will resonate with inspirational fiction readers who appreciate strong-minded protagonists. Rivers’s fans will get just what they want. Agent: Danielle Egan-Miller, Brown & Miller Literary Agency. (Feb.)


Library Journal
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Kathryn Walsh is sent west from Massachusetts to California to collect an inheritance from an uncle she never met. When she arrives in Calvada, she is shocked by the lack of amenities, abundance of uncouth men, and gunshots on the main street. Kathryn battles mud, lice, marriage proposals, and a dim view of a woman's abilities while she tries to restart her uncle's newspaper. Saloon owner and Mayor Matthias Beck cautions Kathryn to temper her passion to oppose injustice, but Kathryn refuses to accept the prejudice of 1870s America. Her determination brings change to the whole town but also attracts the ire of powerful and dangerous men. VERDICT With nods to The Taming of the Shrew and the musical Oklahoma, this novel is more lighthearted than Rivers's (The Masterpiece) typical epic sagas but still retains hallmarks such as compassion for the downtrodden and redemption for the sinner. Read-alikes include Joanne Bischof's The Gold in These Hills and Tamera Alexander's "Fountain Creek Chronicles."—Christine Barth, Scott Cty. Lib. Syst., IA

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