I love this book.I love the love story between Callie and Quinn. I love all the hardships they have to face on the journey west. I have reread this book at least 5 times. There is so much going on in this little book. It is written in journal format.
Dawn Miller's marvelous debut novel is a grand adventure -- and a glorious love story -- experienced with all the passion and yearning of a heroine you'll never forget: eighteen-year-old Callie Wade, whose hopeful heart is as rich with promise as the frontier, which calls her family from their Missouri farm to a new life out West. The Journal Of Callie Wade invites us into a world long vanished, brought to life once more in the pages of a young pioneer woman's diary.
April 12, 1859: "What you can't duck, you best welcome." That's what Mama used to always say, anyway....Even though it was in me to fight going West, I couldn't; there's a light in Pa's eyes, a kind of hope that our Rose will find health and I see it in Jack's eyes, too. As wild and reckless as my brother can be, I know he dreams of better. When I look into Quinn's eyes I feel my own dreams, too...and the love. But everything is so unsure on the trail. Sitting here, staring at the scattered campfires of the train, I can almost hear the prayers to make it through another dust-choked mile, over another river, another birth...another death. Maybe Pa is right, maybe we'll all have a new chance at life in the West. But at what price?
From bitter hardships to moments of shining joy, from unexpected friendships to Callie's blossoming love for Irishman Quinn McGregor, The Journal Of Callie Wade is a chronicle of courage and faith, an inspiring tale of hope and endurance to treasure for years to come.
From Kirkus Reviews
An old-fashioned debut novel told in a series of journal entries and letters written in the unpretentious, homespun language one would expect of an 18-year-old Missouri farm girl recording her experiences on a wagon train in 1859. The Wade family--Callie, her widowed father, and her brother Jack--migrate west in search of a healthier climate for Rose, a consumptive younger sister. Grieving the loss of her home and fearing that her memories will not be enough to preserve her past, Callie is puzzled that Jack and Pa seem so unaffected. She remarks in her journal that to men ``a home was no more than where they ate or slept.'' The different reactions of men and women to the westering experience is an ongoing theme here, with Miller continuing to contrast Callie's behavior and emotions with those of Jack and of Quinn McGregor, a young Irish emigrant with a romantic interest in Callie. Quinn has lost his whole family but sees the journey as his turn to carry on their dreams, while the accidental death of Callie's father and the endless graves along the trail only add to the young woman's depression and fear. The resilient and pattern-breaking Grace Hollister, a widow with four children, provides a further contrast. Like Jack and Quinn, Grace sees the West as hope, telling Callie she should ``never look back.'' On the other hand, Mrs. Handy, yet another emigrant, hides in her wagon and professes to be glad her infant died shortly after its birth. She has lost all hope.
"Wednesday, April 28... Weary today, I feel so much older than eighteen...They say that with age comes wisdom and virtue, but I admit I haven't felt a lick of either lately.
Oh well, at least my work is almost done: I've finished the clothing for us all, the double canvas for the wagon, the bedding and food sacks...."
I did not appreciate this book. It's supposed to be a Christian book, but when two young people are having sex before marriage and its described in detail... I would not allow this book in my house.
Not quite as good as genuine women's diaries, this is still a great read following the bitter hardships to moments of shining joy, from unexpected friendships to Callie's blossoming love for Irishman Quinn McGregor, this is a tale of hope and endurance. You'll probably enjoy this book as much as I did if you like women's history.