Paper Moon, the third and final book in the Paper trilogy, was a wonderful read. We met the main character, Janice Harrison, in the book Paper Tiger. She is a strong, independant woman who, after spending too much time at the wrong end of town, is trying to find a way in life for her and her fragile sister, Betsy. She meets up with the rich,handsome Peter Mulloney, also from Paper Tiger, when her house burns to the ground in an unfortunate accident. Peter has just gotten over a terrible break-up with his fiancee and is trying to prove to his family that he can make it in the world on his own. The main characters must overcome their vastly different pasts and reveal secrets that they wanted to keep hidden, in order to find a love that they find frightening but is the rarest treausure treasure in a lifetime of dreams.
As usual, I'm reading the last book of this three-part series first. Thus, my review won't have the advantage of the previous novels' understanding to help. As such, I thought the book was fairly average.
Independent Janice Harrison has been the school teacher in Mineral Springs, Texas, for about 5 years. When the schoolhouse seems to have been set afire, Janice defends the stranger who (helped save the building) is blamed with setting the blaze, Peter Mulloney. Janice recognizes Peter as someone who came from the same hometown as herself. Peter, from a rich and powerful Ohio family, is in town to get a loan for his gold mine. Janice and Peter's paths keep crossing. When Janice saves Peter from an arson charge when another building burns, her reputation is destroyed. Peter instantly offers to marry Janice and take her with him. Although she has always hated his family for what they did to her family (and others), she has no choice. Janice has charge of her fragile, younger sister. The child needs medicines and a doctor's care routinely.
At this point, the book is about 1/2 complete. The rest of the story is about Peter trying to find the money to chase his dream of gold on a New Mexico mountain. It is also about how each partner comes to realize their love for the other. 3.5 stars
1. Paper Roses (1995)
2. Paper Tiger (1995)
** 3. Paper Moon (1996)