📚A Dual Timeline Story Set In #Idaho. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #HistoricalFiction The Meadowlark by B. C. Walker.

The MeadowlarkThe Meadowlark by B.C. Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

The Meadowlark is a dual timeline story set in Idaho.

The story begins in 1885 with Cassie’s family of homesteaders heading to Willow Creek —they intend to become farmers. The biggest challenge in the area is the water supply and much of the early parts of the story focus on the canal systems and irrigation channels that the first pioneers dug to water their crops.

In the modern-day timeline we are introduced to Emma who has a couple of mysteries to solve which led her to Willow Creek. Sadly Emma was my least favourite character; who she was and what she did in her life never felt real, so I was keen to return to the historical chapters that followed Cassie’s lifetime up until 1936, filled as they were with progress in the town of Willow Creek, including many of the technological improvements of the era and how they became part of everyday life.

This was an ambitious project for a debut novel. The early pioneers and the canal irrigation systems were well researched and were quite fascinating to read about, but it needed weaving into the story more artfully. I can see the amount of research and ideas that make up this story, but some areas need filtering. The story became swamped at times with detail that added little to the story lines. More time spent on character building and less on practical detail would have made the story far more compelling.

The book includes some maps and photos which added to the historical interest. My overall feeling about this book is that there is a good piece of history in there, but it needs the help of an experienced editor to lift the main characters so that they are equally as interesting as the irrigation project.

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Orange rose book description
Book description

In 1885, southeastern Idaho was the last part of the country to open for homesteading. Young Cassie Rapp arrives with her family to farm a country overrun by sagebrush and lacking water. With others they meet, they harness the mighty Snake River and turn 100,000 acres of barren earth into the rich farm community it is today.

Meanwhile, modern-day character Emma Rose, a notable speaker and business consultant, is trying to make sense of her recently deceased father’s request to be buried in a small Idaho town. Her journey of discovery begins from there.

The Meadowlark is a sweeping saga of generations of powerful women set against the building of the American West and a modern discovery of deep family roots. Rich in historical detail and human emotion, this is the story of the uphill struggles endured by the people settling this country and the pride, perseverance, and faith it takes to succeed then or now.

The Meadowlark offers the debut of a strong new writer. B.C. Walker combines a keen observer’s eye and the particularity of place to lay out a lush, large-scale, multi-generational story.

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Saving Whittleston-on-the-Water. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #HistoricalRomance The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest by @VirginiaHeath_ #TuesdayBookBlog

The Earl's Inconvenient HouseguestThe Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest by Virginia Heath

4 stars

The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest is set in 1818. This is book one of A Very Village Scandal series of historical romances. It opens with villagers discussing the new lord of the manor and his possible plans for the estate. Many of the villagers fear that he will turn them out of their homes or sell the estate to a ruthless money-grabbing lord.

Rafe Hockley has inherited much of the land and village of Whittleston-on-the-Water, but what he really wants is a horse stud in a remote part of the country, far away from gossiping villagers; the quicker he can sell his inheritance, the better. However, he must first deal with Miss Sophie Gilbert, the leader of the Save Our Village brigade.

Sophie and her aunt live in a ramshackle cottage which the previous Lord Hockley refused to repair. She will do anything to save her aunt and the other villagers from being sent packing by any hard-hearted lord.

This is a fun story with some great battle lines between Rafe and the villagers. It took me a few chapters to get into the book and enjoy the characters, but once we began to learn more about them I soon became enchanted.

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Desc 1

The earl she loved to hate

…until she stayed in his mansion!

Sophie Gilbert has thwarted the standoffish new earl’s plans to sell his country estate and the quaint village that forms part of it. But when disaster strikes and he offers her refuge, she must reconsider everything about this vexing, determined man. After the heartbreak in her past, it’s a revelation to feel her pulse racing and her body yearning for his touch… 

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