Book Summary From Goodreads: Twenty-six-year-old Katie Macauley has placed all her hope in Hope Springs, a small town in the 1870 Wyoming Territory. But if she wants to return home to Ireland to make amends with her estranged family, she’ll need to convince the influential Joseph Archer to hold true to his word and keep her on his payroll as his housekeeper despite her Irish roots. The town is caught in an ongoing feud between the Irish and the “Reds” the frontiersmen who would rather see all the Irish run out of town and the Irish immigrants who are fighting to make a home for themselves in the New World. When Joseph agrees to keep Katie on as his housekeeper, the feud erupts anew, and Katie becomes the reluctant figurehead for the Irish townsfolk. As the violence escalates throughout the town, Katie must choose between the two men who have been vying for her love though only one might be able to restore hope to her heart.
Review: Sarah M. Eden is one of my go to authors for clean, historic romance. So, of course, when I saw stack including Longing for Home at the Shadow Mountain booth at BEA I may have squeed a little. This is my first choice from the books I picked up at Book Expo America. Within days of arriving home from NYC, I had already read and wanted to hug it just as Katie MacAuley hugs her violin on the front cover.
Katie MacCauley is exiled from her childhood home after famine and harsh landlords cause her father to lose their land and a tragic death claims the life of her sister. She is far from home in Baltimore when word of opportunity anew reaches the East. But going far away can’t keep the ghosts at bay that keep haunting Katie’s memory. Literally crippled both emotionally and physically she begins to heal form the neglect and guilt harbored deep inside. Ultimately, her dream is to make things right by returning to Ireland, but two men vying for her affection have different plans.
Sarah Eden paints a clear picture of Irish life with historic elements of their homeland, Ireland…the soda bread, the music, the neighborhood gatherings or ceili, and the accent. All of these gave me a glance into what life may have been like for the green settlers who were trying to make their way in a “red” frontiersman’s world, as well as the opposition my ancestors likely faced trying to make their way and earn a living here. The separation and prejudice against the Paddys, or “green” Irish side runs strong and heated fueled by” the red road” where Katie finds herself literally living in the middle. Joseph Archer, a widow with two children, is also torn between the town and the Irish. Enter Tavish, the very confident berry vendor , who is determined to tip the scales in his favor and win the heart of Ms. MacCauley.
As a descendant of the Irish who immigrated to the United States, I absolutely loved Longing for Home. Sarah’s writing keeps getting better and better. I would highly recommend all of her books.
Excerpt: Katie pulled open the back door only to have it pushed closed once more. For a moment she couldn’t account for such an odd thing. Her mind, however, quickly pieced the mystery together. Mr. Archer stood behind her, his arm reaching out past her shoulder, hand flat against the door. She’d been so lost in her thoughts shed’s never even heard him catch up to her.
Katie kept her back to him and folded her arms in front of her. “Have you come to order me about some more?”
“Order you about?” Though Katie knew Mr. Archer had to be standing almost touching her to have reached the door from behind her, the nearness of his voice still startled her. “If I’ve learned anything about you over the last week, it’s that you do not respond well to being told what to do.” p.151
Content: clean, mild violence
About the author: Sarah M. Eden is the author of multiple historical romances, including Whitney Award finalists Seeking Persephone (2008, Covenant Communications) and Courting Miss Lancaster(2010, Covenant Communications). Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah has twice served as the Master of Ceremonies for the LDStorymakers Writers Conference, acted as the Writer in Residence at the Northwest Writers Retreat and is one-third of the team at the AppendixPodcast.com. Sarah is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg at Foreword Literary Agency.
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