By Sarah M. Eden
Though she was only a child during the darkest days of Ireland’s Great Famine, Katie Macauley feels responsible for the loss of her family’s land and the death of her sister. Now a woman grown, Katie has left Ireland for America and the promise of earning money enough to return home again and plead for her family’s forgiveness. She arrives in Hope Springs, Wyoming Territory, a town sharply divided between the Americans who have settled there, with their deep hatred of the Irish, and the Irish immigrants who have come searching for a place to call home. Her arrival tips the precarious balance, and the feud erupts anew. Even in the midst of hatred and violence, however, Katie finds reason to hope. Two men, as different as they are intriguing, vie for her heart, turning her thoughts for the first time toward a future away from Ireland. Katie must now make the hardest decision of her life: stay and give her heart a chance at love, or return home and give her soul the possibility of peace.
I listened to the audiobook instead of reading it, which was my first experience with an audiobook that I didn’t have to immediately put the book down. I’m not an auditory person, but I recently got a job where my commute to and from work is 40 minutes, so I thought, heck I could get a lot of books “read” by listening to them. So, this was my first attempt. The narrator did a fair job at the Irish accents, and the solo southern accent. I found myself liking the story and people because I didn’t know too much about Irish racism in America, though I knew it happened. I admit though that the audiobook took way too long to finish. I could’ve read the book in a day or two, but this dragged out over 3 weeks. I was only able to listen to it in the car (I can’t pay attention if I’m doing anything else). That was my main drawback. It started to feel like a soap opera because listening to it drew it out too much. I do have to warn as well that this book is the first in a two-part story. Things are left pretty much in the air. The following will be a spoiler so if you don’t want to know, do NOT read further: I did something I never do. I was so ticked off that Katie ended up with the wrong person (in my mind) and I actually went in search of spoilers because if she really truly ended up with this person I wasn’t going to read the next book. I couldn’t stand it. I was that passionate about it….and I’m going to read the next book. That is all.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5