by Sarah Dunster
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 10, 2012
by Cedar Fort
Book Source: Netgalley
Goodreads review: After surviving the tragic deaths of her parents and her baby sister and a harrowing trek across the plains to Utah, it s no surprise that Maggie’s nights are plagued by nightmares. But after years of harsh treatment by her foster family and memories that seem to hint at an unthinkable crime, Maggie is forced to strike out on her own to separate the facts from the lies.
Cathy’s review: It’s the 1800’s in Provo, Utah. Johnson’s Army has been pestering the LDS people, so they’ve all moved south out of their main city of Salt Lake City to wait out the soldiers. Magdalena Chabert has finally made a friend, who happens to be one of the step-daughters of Brigham Young. It’s strange to Maggie that she’s finally made a friend, she’s always been kind of the odd one out with the young people of Provo, but knowing Mariah has changed that for her. Unfortunately Mariah and her family are heading home with all the other people from Salt Lake. Maggie’s not certain what she will do without her friend around, especially with all of the bad nightmares she’s been having. She has nightmares about men with guns firing at…well at someone, Maggie’s uncertain just who. Soon though, she finds that her foster family has been lying to her about her situation. She thought that there was nothing left from the things that her family had brought with them across the plains, but she’s turning Ma Alden’s mattress one day and notices her mother’s name written on it. Maggie’s uncertain just who she can trust, she can’t trust her foster family, or her friend Henry, maybe, just maybe she can trust herself to take care of herself and her little sister Giovanna. I liked Maggie’s story and the characters in it. Provo’s really a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business and that makes for some pretty interesting situations. Having said that the story itself felt a little disjointed, which I guess was probably how Provo was during this time of unrest for them.
About the Author: Sarah Dunster is the mother of six young children. Her childhood journals are littered with poems, stories, and drawings of maps, characters, and places she imagined for her stories. She wrote her first novel at age nine – a rambling combination of Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, scribbled on binder paper – and tortured her friends by making them listen to the whole thing. Sarah is an award-winning poet; her pieces have been published in Segullah Magazine and Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought. In addition to writing she loves reading, singing, skiing, and educating her children at home. Sarah lived for ten years in Provo, and grew to love the places, people, and history of Utah Valley.