20/11/2006

June (by Lori Copeland)

'June' is a historical novel by Lori Copeland, set in the 1800s in the USA. It's about one of the 'mail-order brides' - a custom that developed, apparently, when there were more men than women in the West, and too many women further East. Agencies would have people on their books and encourage letters to be exchanged, then eventually, if all went well, the young woman would travel to meet and marry someone she had never actually met.

June is the potential bride in this story, who goes West to marry a preacher's assistant. Unfortunately things don't turn out the way she expected. But she's full of faith and very resourceful, and soon becomes busy and (mostly) happy in her new life.

Quite a good plot with an encouraging ending, albeit a little predictable. I'm not sure that all the characters were entirely believable, though. June at 17, raised with her two sisters by an elderly aunt, seems to me much too confident and outgoing for someone of her age and background. The other main character of the book was a confusing mixture of harsh and friendly, not just unpredictable but not really someone I felt I could trust.

The other problem I had with this book is that there's far too much reporting of thoughts, and sudden decisions made without any apparent reason. I would have preferred more action and conversation.

Still, it was fine as a light holiday read.

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