In this perfect romantic novel a single schoolteacher heads west, falls in love with a rancher and, in the face of forceful opposition, starts a school for Indians. When her best friend also needs a true love, the rancher miraculously produces an identical twin brother. Kate Forbes offers a gentle, delicate reading perfectly suited to the tone of the story. Her soft voice shifts subtly among several dialects and between genders without over-performing any of them. Her schoolteacher is suitably refined, her frontier woman equally feisty. The bad guys are really bad, and the misunderstood bastard shifts from despicable to lovable quite convincingly. By the time the tapes run out, you're ready, but not a minute before.
Jenny Gray travels to an isolated cabin near an Indian reservation where she is to teach school to the Shoshoni. When a crooked Indian agent tries to drive her out, she need helps and turns to rachner Trell McCall.
As stated in a will, well-bred, cosmopolitan Virginia Hepperly will earn the rights to a Wyoming Territory ranch if she spends five years teaching Native American children in the territory. Discovering that her two little stepsisters are being mistreated by their guardians, Virginia takes them with her to begin a new life. But after arriving, she finds that there are those who want to destroy her -- and her future.
This is a very satisfying western romance by Dorothy Garlock. The only disappointment was that this is the last of a series (see below) and I read it first!
It took an epic 458 pages to tell the story of twins, Trell and Travor McCall. Actually, the story begins with the women who will play an important part in the twins lives, Jenny Gray and Colleen Murphy.
Jenny absconds with her two younger sisters (because they are being abused by Jennys older sister, Margaret, and husband, Charles). She finds that she must move to a territory and change her last name, in order to protect the children.
She signs a contract to teach Shoshoni children in the Wyoming Territory. When the 3 arrive, nothing is as promised. On top of that, the citizens of the closest town are enraged that a teacher has been hired to teach Indians while they dont have a teacher for their children.
No one seems to want Jenny there including the Indian Agent, Alvin Havelshell. The school has been vandalized and the house assigned to Jenny and her sisters is unwelcoming and abandoned.
However, Jenny is no shrinking violet! She doesnt wring her hands, she finds solutions. Trell visits (his ranch is nearby) and helps her by finding some squatters, Colleen Murphy and her Granny.
Cassandra is priceless: outspoken, intelligent and articulate. Whit is another interesting character; the verbal sparring between Cassandra and Whit is very amusing. Perhaps the story is so engaging because Garlock does such a good job with the secondary characters!
In some stories, characters spend excessive time agonizing internally about their thoughts and fears. Garlock balances internal worry with considerable action. The story moves at a fast clip.
1. Midnight Blue (1988)
2. Nightrose (1990)
3. Sins of Summer (1994)
4. The Listening Sky (1994)
5. Larkspur (1997)
6. Sweetwater (1990)