Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson

In this first volume of the Hearts Seeking Home series, Anna Groben convinces her mother and grandfather to join the wagon train from St. Charles, Missouri, to California. There are family troubles resulting from the death of Anna's brother, and she feels the family could profit by a new start in a new place. If you read Mona Hodgson's novellas, The Quilted Heart series, you will recognize people from that series as they make a new start in these three novels.

Ms. Hodgson deftly tells the stories of several families as they travel together, meeting trouble on the road as well as in their company. Some are friends while others in the group are strangers. The intricacies of the personalities intrigue the reader as we learn about these people who are traveling together. Some become involved in romances, while others have feelings of dislike and distrust. More than about the trek west, this book is about people.

Ms. Hodgson deals with nationalities as well. People on the wagon train are German, French, Irish, and some don't even speak English. They all bring their personal likes and dislikes as they must deal with each other, and the author clearly defines the problems people have when they are in close proximity with those they might not even like to be around.

If you enjoy reading about relationships, you will enjoy this book. Of course, there are adventures along the trail, but the gist of the book is relationships. There are two more novels planned in this series as the Boone's Lick Company leaves St. Charles and travels west. In Prairie Song, the group gets as far as Fort Kearney. Mountain Whispers, the next book, will take the group from there on further west, then another book will complete the series. I, for one, am anxious to read the next installment to discover what the people will find. Will they be excited about their new home or will they pine for what they left behind? I can't wait to find out.

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