By: Sandra Dallas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 2020
Reviewed by Diane Lunsford
Once again, Sandra Dallas knocks it out of the park with her latest book, Westering Women.
It is 1852 Chicago and Maggie is a young seamstress with a young daughter. She happens upon a flyer seeking ‘eligible women’ to venture west to the gold mines of Goosetown, California. Maggie has many secrets she struggles to keep at bay. This is a perfect opportunity to leave them all behind and begin a new life for her and her daughter. Not giving it a second thought, Maggie opts to join 43 other women along with two reverends and embark upon a treacherous and dangerous journey west to enjoy (hopefully) a life of joy and peace. Sadly, what Maggie can’t possibly know is all who begin the journey will not make it to the end.
As the migration west begins, Maggie learns she is not the only woman looking for a new start. Secrets and hardships that were meant to be left behind in Chicago have a way of rearing their ugly heads. One thing that is certain is the bonds these women form along the way are a force to reckon with. Together, they are determined to do whatever it takes to protect each other.
Sandra Dallas is the real deal when one looks up the definition of writer in the dictionary. From the opening lines of her stories, the reader is immediately swept into the moment and certainly can relate to the characters, situations and the overall story. In Westering Women, Ms. Dallas paints from a pallet of vivid color and brilliant sceneries through her natural ability of superb word placement and plot development. It is clear she does her research on the period within which the story is set and because of this, reading her work is like being a part of the story she tells. Never once have I experienced drag when turning the pages of one of Ms. Dallas’ books and the only regret I often have is when the end is near. It is truly a natural-born gift a writer has when he or she can command the attention of his/her audience simply by weaving an epic tale. Hands down, Ms. Dallas was born with this gift. I’ve had the pleasure of reading a few of Ms. Dallas’ titles and must admit, when asked to read another, never do I waiver when considering the opportunity. It is always a yes! Thank you once again for a most enjoyable read.
Quill says: Westering Women is a fantastic trip back in time rife with women of substance and the hardships they endured.