My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Set in the 1790's, this book begins a series centering on a New York mountain village. Elizabeth Middleton returns to her father's home after being raised by here aunt in England. There she encounters a cast of characters that are set in their ways, especially as she's determined to establish a school that welcomes all. She also meets Nathaniel Bonner, a white man who lives like a Native American.
So, I'm not going to lie. I did pick up this book solely on the fact I listened to an Anne Bogel "What Should I Read Next" podcast where it comes up that some of the Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) characters make an appearance in this novel. The appearance is not in person but by mention, and definitely brief. Luckily, this book and its characters were interesting enough to hold my attention without that hook - that was towards the middle anyway.
Don't go into this expecting a book like Outlander though. Yes, it's historical fiction set in some of the same time frame. But the characters seemed more modern yet set in a historical time frame. It just didn't seem as satiated in the time period or even as accurate.
Elizabeth seemed fairly juvenile to me. I liked her, but kept thinking of her as 19 instead of a spinster of 29. The romance also seemed more lust than love and happened very quickly.
It took about 10 chapters to get into the plot, but then it seemed to pick up. I was engaged by that point though. In some places, the timeline or setting seemed to jump without any warning like a page break or a chapter change. That could have been issues with the ebook version though. There were also some inconsistencies and dropped story lines. Hoping some of those are picked up in the next book.
I will be reading book 2. If you plan to as well, do yourself a favor and don't read the summary of the book on Goodreads. I feel like it spoiled some of it before I even started.
Heads-Up: some steamy content - I skipped paragraphs here and there. I don't think there was as much as an Outlander book though.
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