Thursday, May 05, 2011

Too Rich for a Bride by Mona Hodgson

Mona Hodgson's writing style and descriptive narratives paint a very clear picture of what a turn of the century western gold mining town must have been like. She draws you in and gives you the feeling you are walking through the streets of Cripple Creek as you read. This is the second book in her series "The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek". While it is a successful stand alone novel, I would have liked to have read the first one just so I could keep the characters and their relationships straight in my mind.

There is a long list of characters, a few pivotal ones and several peripheral ones but equally enjoyable. One of my favorites is young Abraham. He loves to make people laugh and thrives on thinking up new jokes to tell to anyone who will listen.

The main character is Ida Sinclair, one of four Sinclair sisters. She is a smart, ambitious, independent Christian young woman determined to break through the barrier and become a success in the world of business. After a very distasteful occurrence with a male professor, she travels to join two of her sisters in the gold mining town of Cripple Creek. Soon after arriving, she is employed by Mollie O'Bryan, a self-made, successful business woman, who is thought of by some as unscrupulous and of questionable character. She also meets two young men who are clearly interested in courting her. Colin Wagner is a sophisticated and influential lawyer who represents Mollie in her business dealings. Tucker Raines is a traveling preacher whose family owns the local ice house. His father falls ill and Tucker comes to town to take over the business while his father recuperates. On the surface, each man looks like a worthy suitor but each has his own secrets that for one reason or another, they are reluctant to share.

As events unfold, Ida's faith and deep convictions cause her to question many aspects of her life and the decisions she has made.

This is a very enjoyable story that touches on the issues of women's rights, mental illness, and the gold rush and all the economic and cultural developments that occurred at that time in our history, including the emerging Stock Exchange.

There are questions in the back of the book for book discussion groups. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

You can read the first chapter by clicking below:
Too Rich for a Bride by Mona Hodgson (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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