I loved this book The characters were interesting and well developed The story was interesting The biggest bummer is that my library doesn t have the third book in the series I m going to read book two and request that they add book three to their collection.I thought this book was Christian, but the first three quarters of the book lacked any mention of God I thought that was odd as it felt like I was reading a very clean secular novel Toward the end, the characters started discussing God a bit but I never felt like it was an important part of their lives Maybe they developof a relationship with God in the second book. I found this to be an interesting book focusing on the emerging railroads of the US with a light romance spin to it This is NOT a typical, bawdy romance novel, and would instead be completely appropriate for a religious, teenager who wants her heart to flutter a bit as she reads I haven t read the two sequels yet, so can t speak to those However, the story line was a bit slow for me, and even my own fascination with the railroad politics, etc was taxed by some of the time the author spent on setting the scene of the story Also, the relationship is taking so long to develop, I m losing a bit of interest in the book as a result not enough moments to keep me wanting to know what s next Most importantly, if you are not Christian, this book is riddled with bible verses, and you might very well be irritated by that On the flip side, if you ARE Christian, you are going to love seeing a romance novel that actually ties scripture into the actual storyline continually So, interesting read, fun way to learn about the railroad, but if you are someone is a book devourer like me, you probably want to get your fix on the emergence of the rail in America in a slightlymature book that isn t quite so disney d up GREAT FOR TEENS The Year IsAnd Carolina Adams Finds Herself Enchanted By An Unlikely Suitor The Railroad Frustrated By Society S Expectations Upon Her Gender, She Longs To Study Masculine Subjects And Is Thrilled When Her Father Grants Her A TutorJames Baldwin Arrives To Serve As Carolina S Teacher, But Of Importance, He Is To Court Carolina S Beautiful Older Sister, Virginia Will Expectations And Virginia S Southern Charm Elicit The Hoped For Proposal Or Will James And Carolina Dare To Acknowledge The Mutual Interests And Feelings Growing Between Them really interesting story ruined by self absorbed me me me charactersThe book is actually really good in many aspects, however, I experienced an overwhelming urge to punch the female protagonist and the hero requires a kick up the backside , hence this is getting a 1 The PlotThe heroine is a poor little rich girl who wants to study and pursue a career in the Railroad However, due to her gender severe restrictions are imposed relating to her ambition The plot starts off great pioneer intelligent heroine and the author really has researched her subject matter with regards to the railroad some audience may find a surfeit of historical detail.In the interim we are introduced to the heroine s family and other supporting characters, all of whom are pretty well fleshed out However, there were far too many subplots introduced too early in the book, which did overwhelm the actual story Overall, I think the author relied far too heavily on plot cliches without really thinking about her characters 1 The pioneering heroine who defies all to pursue her ambitions ought to have been handled with some tact and sophistication The immature renderings of the heroine were understandable as she s 15 and no one enjoys reading about goody self sacrificing types , however, this heroine was far too self absorbed with deplorable conduct.2 The sibling rivalry put the heroine rather than the opposing sibling in a bad light Again, another plot cliche that was handled poorly.3 The b tch fiance of the hero who happens to be the heroine s older sister is a plot cliche that can be well worked out, but here I felt sorry for the other woman 4 The tall dark handsome cliche is not enough to make a hero Give him a personality we can like This guy flits about women, careers and is also self absorbed The author uses a cliched foil against the hero by introducing a Blond suitor for the heroine, however, this self made hardworking man who says it like it is seems far better than the weak, selfish little hero The Characters Heroine This is where the book really fails I appreciate the restrictions society has placed on women, however, the heroine is so self absorbed while people including poor slaves are dying and living awful lives while all she can do is poor me herself and rage against her parents.Even towards the end when there is a huge tragedy she s still inflicting us with her poor me self absorbed monologue It was tiring Another issue I took exception to was her callous disregard to her sister s feelings Ok I get it her older beautiful sister only wants to marry the hero for the wrong reasons avoid being a spinster However, that is no justification for trying to steal her man That s your sister And if the hero was meant to be with you than he d make that choice without interference from you Hence, not only is she self absorbed she s also selfish devious scheming horrible and spiteful.Hero what a weak, spineless and selfish character This dude needs a backbone Another self absorbed me me me type His friend dies in a horrible accident, he breaks his leg and might possibly lose the function of it and all he s concerned about is becoming a cripple A man has lost his life and he thinks the dude who died is better off He s so ungrateful to his parents enacting the whole poor me routine that would rival the heroine s poor me monologue Also, this guy encourages a 18 year old gently bred girl to fall for him he is openly courting her , however, feels trapped into marrying her while checking out her younger sister the heroine This despicable behaviour is of course not his fault according to him it s all due to his parents and his fiance s fault he s in this mess He could have easily rectified the situation by NOT COURTING her when it became obvious he was eyeing up the younger sibling But no the dude just lets others drag him along till he realises he oh no I must account for my actions So while he plays one sister off against the other he then proceeds to continue his self absorbed lifestyle where everything is about me me me PoliticsThere were many political issues dealt within this book which some people may find uncomfortable with or boring The slavery references were a touch uncomfortable, however, I did enjoy reading about the banking details, how Texas was part of Mexico and it was Mexico s opposition to slavery that created the rift which had the American govt steal Texas from Mexico despite treaties And the railroad politics were also fascinating.I think most people will be impressed by the author s research, however, the may not agree with all the topics ReligionI didn t feel this book was a Christian book Other than the heroine s father seeking God, the other characters were selfish and materialistic The slvve owning was also a problem I don t understand why the need for slaves was so great just cut back on your lush cushy lifestyle I also didn t feel they were good examples of Christians with all the spitefulness and self absorbed sentiments raging throughout the book Although I m not a Christian hence I m not an authority. It was well written and a good story, but it had a cliffhanger type ending I don t mean there is suspense, but all the loose ends are left untied waiting for the next book Thankfully the whole series is out so there is no waiting These types of books series are the worst when just released because you can end up waiting a year orto find out what happens This particular book is interesting and well written, but left me feeling kinda depressed I am thankful that i have access to the next book and hopefully things will start to look up. If you didn t get to read this charming story in 1997 or 2009 when it was reprinted, I implore you to grab it when you can I was impressed with the overall story, the characters and their growth, and the time it was set The Railroad and trains were mysterious to Americans in the mid 1800 s Fear, uncleanliness, and misunderstanding of science plagued the city people in that day What a wonderful story of a young sister who fell in love with the idea and science as well You will keep up with several characters that add much to the story I have ordered the sequel, Book II, today Then there is Book III to look forward to Happy Reading A Historical to love. Ok, I wanted to give this bookstars but helb back The reason for that is because it is not a stand alone book I don t mind a series if it grabs me and I need to read the rest This was not one of those stories. I absolutely loved this book It had a great mix of historical and romance fiction action happening and the characters were quite loveable The story largely centers around 16 year old Carolina Adams, daughter of plantation owner Joseph Adams and his wife Margaret Carolina is a headstrong girl who is ambitious to attempt a different type of life when the railroad comes to town However, can a young southern girl really follow her dreams when she is supposed to be worrying about getting married That seems to be all that Carolina s older sister Virginia is bent on and she becomes hell bent on the son of a banker, James Baldwin James also turns out to become Carolina s tutor and the sparks do seem to fly Fun fact to put in Not too hard to remember the names of Carolina s family as they are all named after states York, Maine, Hampshire, Tennessee, Virgina, Georgia, Pennsyvlvanua Penny and Maryland Mary.I am looking forward to readingof the Ribbons of Steel series. Free download I enjoyed the premise of the book, and it kept me interested for a while, but then it stalled It totally bored me before too long I got about 70% through the book and I could not bring myself to finish it having looked into the rest of the series, I am glad that I didn t waste too much time or any money on it because it seems to take a VERY long time to get to the happy ending As some of the other reviewers have noted, this book ends with a cliffhanger, but not the good, suspenseful kind just the kind that makes you feel like you ve wasted time on an incomplete story. This was a really fun book to read since I love the 1800 Joseph Adams is a southern gentleman who owns Oakbridge Plantation He and his wife, Margaret, are loving people who enjoy their southern way of life They have several wonderful children and life seems to be grand Enter Carolina Adams This 15 year old southern belle is anything but the belle of the ball She longs for higher learning in a world where ladies run the household, care for the children and are the picture of society Her father wants to please Carolina and her mother want her to become the southern lady that she was raised to be Their oldest daughter, Virginia, is the picture of what a southern belle should be She is nearly past the age to be eligible to marry a proper southern gentleman and she is determined to find a husband The twists and turns throughout the story kept me on the edge of my seat and it made it difficult to put the book down I enjoyed the historical facts and how the story shows how the struggles that each character went through.
Judith Pella is a bestselling, award winning author whose writing career spans two decades Her in depth historical and geographical research combines with her skillful storytelling to provide readers with dramatic, thought provoking novels She and her husband make their home in Scapoose, Oregon.
- 349 pages
- Distant Dreams (Ribbons of Steel Book 1)
- Judith Pella
- 12 May 2017 Judith Pella