By: JF Collen
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Publication Date: September 2020
Reviewed by Diane Lunsford
Author JF Collen continues a raucous adventure in the second book of the Journey of Cornelia Rose series, Walk Away West.
It is 1852 in Sing Sing, New York. Newly married Cornelia Rose is ecstatic the further she settles into married life and all the comforts of the home she and her beloved Obadiah are making together. Born and raised along the Hudson, Cornelia cannot imagine ever living anywhere else. Add in the wondrous and glorious civilization of New York and everything seems perfect. Of course, her courting days are behind her, but she still loves to enjoy the festivities a visit to West Point has to offer. After all, that’s where she first met Obadiah. Her daddy is quite the ship master and happens to own the Henry Clay, one of the fastest ships on the Hudson. Little did anyone know that the tragedy of fire was awaiting the passengers on that fateful day in July 1852.
Time is a healer of wounds and the fire is a horrid, but thankfully distant memory. Cornelia and Obadiah’s family grows as they become more accustomed to life along the Hudson. Imagine Cornelia’s shock (and horror) when her brother-in-law, Armistead, happens to drop the news of an imminent move west to Chicago. Obadiah cannot possibly be serious of wanting to go west as well. However, when the opportunity of becoming a circuit judge in the Utah Territory is dangled for Obadiah’s taking, there is no hesitation in his acceptance of such an appointment. It does not matter how much time Cornelia spends educating herself about the unknown reaches of the West. The fact of the matter is reality has a way of painting a much different picture than the fantasies and wonders one’s mind can conjure up.
I had the pleasure of reading JF Collen’s first book in the Journey of Cornelia Rose series, Flirtation on the Hudson. Walk Away West was just as entertaining. As in the first book, Collen stays true to the credibility of characters and the period within which the story is written. The attention to detail of scenery complements dialogue and consistently takes the reader back to a time and place long before modern creature comforts and conveniences. There’s a lovely tone of pure innocence during the 1850’s as much as there is nuance of the harsh reality of vulnerability to the raw elements. Walk Away West has great pace and is a fun read. Collen has a flair when it comes to engaging the audience from the onset and has once again delivered an entertaining and wholesome read.
Quill says: Walk Away West is a tremendous slice of historical pie with a healthy scoop of days gone by on top.
For more information on Walk Away West (Journey of Cornelia Rose Book 2), please visit the author's website at: www.jfcollen.com