Friday, September 2, 2022

LAURA'S SHADOW by Allison Pittman, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"I wish I could say I developed an affection for him."

Mariah Patterson knew her brother's machinations were well intended, but suffering through Thursday evening meals with a well established local bachelor held absolutely no appeal. Yes, she needed to think about her future; yes, her beloved brother was moving ahead with his own happily-ever-after; yes, there was one man who made her heart sing . . . but unfortunately, to Cap Garland she was just another skirt. . . for it seemed that he would forever pine after Laura Ingalls.

As the sunset of her life draws near, Mariah's finagles a way to summon her great granddaughter Trixie Gowan home. Assuming that her beloved "GG" is at death's door, imagine Trixie's surprise when she realizes that her crafty great-grand has actually staged the entire situation in order to share a tightly held secret without actually saying the words. As it turns out, the trip might even allow Trixie to discover the kind of love than her beloved "GG" had simply dreamed about.

What a curious story. Its brilliance is in the actual idea; pulling what could have been, or might have been, away from the texture of a much beloved set of children's stories that have survived for decades. Sure, there are some carefully crafted "warm fuzzies" in this story, but it's also a reminder that life isn't always fair and that "sometimes first love exists as a foundation for new love".
*I purchased this book and had no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:

Family Secrets Spill One Conversation at a Time

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

De Smet, South Dakota—1890
Young women growing up in DeSmet live by two rules: don’t go out in a snowstorm and don’t give your heart to Cap Garland. Young Mariah Patterson only managed to obey one. Orphaned and having devoted her youth to scrapping out a life with her brother Charles, Mariah finds herself with no interesting suitors or means of support. Throwing caution to the wind, she seizes an opportunity to lay her feelings at Cap’s feet, even though she knows Cap sees the world through the torch he carries for Laura Ingalls. Mariah is certain her love for Cap will be strong enough to break both bonds, and she’s willing to risk everything to prove it.

De Smet, South Dakota—1974
Trixie Gowan is the fourth generation of living Gowan women residing in the sprawling farmhouse on the outskirts of De Smet. Well, former resident. She’s recently moved to Minneapolis, where she writes ads for a neighborhood paper edited by Ron Tumble. She might live and work in the city, but her co-workers still call her Prairie Girl. Thus the inspiration for her comic strip—“Lost Laura”—in which a bespectacled girl in a calico dress tries to make her way in the city. The name is a quiet rebellion having grown up in a household where she’d been forbidden to mention the name, Laura Ingalls. But when her great-grandmother Mariah’s declining health brings Trixie home for a visit, two things might just keep her there: the bedside manner of Dr. Campbell Carter and the family secret that seems to be spilling from GG’s lips one conversation at a time.

Barbour Publishing, September 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, or audiobook:
Buy LAURA'S SHADOW at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House



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