Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of publication: January 7th, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
From the bestselling author of Prayers for Sale, an inspiring celebration of sisterhood on the perilous wagon-trail west
“If you are an adventuresome young woman of high moral character and fine health, are you willing to travel to California in search of a good husband?”
It’s February 1852, and all around Chicago Maggie sees the postings soliciting “eligible women” to travel to the gold mines of Goosetown. A young seamstress with a small daughter and several painful secrets, she has nothing to lose.
So she joins forty-three other women and two pious reverends on the dangerous 2,000-mile journey west. None of them are prepared for the hardships they face on the trek through the high plains, mountains, and deserts. Or for the triumphs of finding strengths they did not know they possessed. And not all will make it.
As Maggie gets to know the other women, she soon discovers that she’s not the only one looking to leave dark secrets behind. And when her past catches up with her, it becomes clear a band of sisters will do whatever it takes to protect one of their own.
Hidden beneath her black umbrella, Maggie stood in the shelter of the church and stared at the woman reading the broadsheet.Westering Women by Sandra Dallas
When I read the plotline for Westering Women, I realized that I had read a few books about settlers immigrating to the western half of the country. Just on that, I decided to read Westering Women. While I am glad that I read Westering Women, I felt slightly disappointed by it too.
The plotline for Westering Women was medium paced. I didn’t mind it being medium paced. It was well suited for the book. But, I didn’t like the flow of the book. There were points where it lagged. But the author did a great job of getting the book back on track.
The characters in Westering Women made this book. In an age where women were considered weak, they showed the men exactly what they were made of. I loved it. I also loved the variety of women showcased here. From the preacher’s wife to the former prostitute to the unwed teen mother to the upper-class woman with her servant to the abused wife, they were all showed here. I loved seeing this group of women coming together and supporting each other. Whenever something happened to one of the group, they stood together. It did result in some unusual situations.
I am not sure how realistic life on the trail was portrayed, but it made for an exciting read. The views the men had were correct for the time.
I do want to include a trigger warning with this book. Several scenes put me on edge while reading it. There was a scene where a major character relived abuse, the death of her son, and the rape of her four-year-old daughter. There were several scenes of racism (one of the secondary characters was black). There were two scenes of attempted rape. There was a scene of a brutal fight after one of the women was brutally beaten. There was a scene where a child dies from drowning, and one dies from premature birth. I will admit these did affect my rating for the book.
The end of Westering Women broke my heart. I wasn’t expecting the death of one of the women on the train. I sobbed because that woman was one of my favorites. The epilogue also made me cry. But, at the same time, I was left feeling a little unfulfilled. I know it was because of that death.
I would give Westering Women an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Westering Women. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**