My Loving Vigil Keeping
by Carla Kelly
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected Publication Date: August 14, 2012
by Cedar Fort Inc
Book Source: Netgalley
Book Summary from Goodreads: Della’s giving up all the comforts of bustling Salt Lake City to teach school in a rural coal mining camp. Little does she know, she may soon be giving up her heart as well. But when tragedy strikes in the Scofield Mine, Della’s life will be changed forever. Based on true events, this thrilling new romance from award-winning and bestselling author Carla Kelly is a must-read!
Cathy’s Review: Della is a school teacher in the year 1899, she has taught school for two years in Salt Lake City, on the west side. She is the niece of prominent attorney Karl Anders, she’s been raised by them since her father died in a mining accident when she was young, but she’s never felt as though she were a part of the family. She spontaneously decided to take a teaching job in the small mining community of Winter Quarters, which her Aunt Caroline especially doesn’t approve of. The town of Winter Quarters is far up the canyon and it’s a bit of a trial to get there, even by train. The coal cars coming out of the canyon have the right of way on the train tracks, so the trains must wait on a side line and they shake uncontrollably as the coal cars rush by. This is very startling to Della, she’s used to the big city, not to the life of a remote mining camp. It doesn’t help that the principal of the school, Miss Clayson doesn’t like her, or her curly hair! And her little house burned down right before her arrival, so Della has no where really to live. Things are looking hard, but then she meets the children and falls in love with them. But will the children be the only ones she falls in love with?
I LOVED this book, even 3 days after finishing it, I can’t stop thinking about Della and the story. This story is a bit of historical fiction with romance thrown in. I had never heard the story of the Winter Quarters mine, but I find myself thinking about it and about the good people that lived there and worked in the mine. The plot was engaging, I didn’t want to stop reading. I loved the characters. Carla Kelly’s books are amazing and this book was no exception to that. I hope that there is a sequel to this one, I would really love to find out what happened to the people that lived in Winter Quarters.
About the Author: Award-winning author Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. Recently, she’s been writing Regency romances (think Pride and Prejudice) set in the Royal Navy’s Channel Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars between England and France. She comes by her love of the ocean from her childhood as a Navy brat.
Carla’s history background makes her no stranger to footnote work, either. During her National Park Service days at the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Carla edited Friedrich Kurz’s fur trade journal. She recently completed a short history of Fort Buford, where Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881.
Following the “dumb luck” principle that has guided their lives, the Kellys recently moved to Wellington, Utah, from North Dakota and couldn’t be happier in their new location. In her spare time, Carla volunteers at the Railroad and Mining Museum in Helper, Utah. She likes to visit her five children, who live here and there around the United States. Her favorite place in Utah is Manti, located after a drive on the scenic byway through Huntington Canyon.
And why is she so happy these days? Carla is enjoying writing for an LDS audience now, where she feels most at home.
Carla Kelly author
Heather, thanks for the lovely review. Those characters have stck with me, too. In the course of writing this, I came in contact with a lot of miners, and still do, since we live in a Carbon County mining/ranching community. The miners I know are a bunch of charming pragmatists, who shake their head when people think mining is still pick and shovel, as it was in Owen Davis’s day.