Published by BookBaby (3.14.2012)
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Synopsis:1887 Debutante, Julia Crawford endures a lifetime of subtle ridicule as the plump, silly daughter of a premiere Boston family. Julia strikes out on her own to gain independence, traveling to the Midwest to marry an aging shopkeeper and care for his mother. Julia finds her new home rough and uncivilized after the sophistication of a big city, while closely held secrets threaten to ruin Julia’s one chance at love.
Jake Shelling was sixteen and grew up quick when his parents died from influenza on the North Dakota prairie. Left with a half-cleared farm and two young sisters, he spent little time on his own needs . . till now. At thirty-five, he figured it was high time to have some sons and a mail order bride would suit him just fine. No expectations of love, just a helpmate from sturdy stock, ready for farm life.
Will fate and chance play a trick on Julia and Jake?
Having never read a historical romance novel before, I was reluctant to start this one. With an open mind and a little curiosity I decided to go for it. I must say if all historical romance novels are well written like this one then I am a fan for sure! I guess I don't need to say that I liked the book...but I will say that once I started reading I didn't put it down until I was done. I can't pinpoint exactly what I liked so much about the book, maybe it was the realness of the plot, the vulnerability of the protagonists or the ease in story flow? Either way, it pulled me in and held me tight.
Let's start with Julia Crawford, at first glance she seems to have such low self-esteem, but as I got to know her I began to understand why she feels the way she does. She deems herself the "black sheep" of the family and feels she will never be able to break away from the stiffing, oppressive perfection that is her mother, er...I mean family. So she sets out to make a way for herself and in doing so, she gains the confidence, strength and clarity she couldn't find or muster up living at home, not to mention a love she thought she could never have. In all the seriousness of the book, there is a moment of hilarious coincidence that, when you think of it outside of the story is just plain cliche, but for the story it fits. Let's just say there's a mix-up of sorts that leads to Julia meeting Jake.
Jake is your "man's man" he's strong, tall and has a no non-sense attitude. I was very pleased with his character development, he is very much a main character in this book and is a perfect co-star to Julia. He made Julia feel safe and loved which gave her the will to find herself. That in turn made me really like him and trust him too. Of course, due to the manner in which Julia & Jake came together you have to expect bumps in the road along the way, which only added to the realness of their relationship.
There were moments in the book that left an aching feeling in my chest. Like When Julia tells Jake about the truth of her youngest sister and the reaction from Jake afterward. I will admit in that moment, I was totally mad at him. He was totally insensitive and being completely unfair to her, and it also made me mad that she didn't stand up to him. She just allowed him to judge her and once again became a martyr. In the end they work it out and he see's the error of his ways but still!
Julia's mother is painted as wicked and heartless and she plays the part well. Her sisters seem to be the same but we have only Julia's POV on that; but this gets cleared up in the climax of the story, fortunately. The secondary characters added a nice depth to the story as well and were woven into the plot with ease.
This was a well written love story that flowed seamlessly with well developed characters and a timeless, realistic story. I enjoyed reading Train Station Bride and all the emotions it evoked within me.
About the Author:
I grew up in a home where I was surrounded by books. There was not a room that did not hold a bookcase, stack or shelves of books. My father didn't care what we read, although he did, as long as we read something, even a comic book. His stack of books beside his reading chair that sat next to a sunny window was a strange mix of westerns, political intrigue, current affairs, science fiction and the odd biography. Books made me curious, comforted me, excited me, scared me and gave me glimpses into lives and worlds beyond my reach. What a gift - the written word - what a gift!
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