*****B L O G T O U R*****
Miss Fannie Rousseau is a young woman of privilege traveling west to uncover the truth behind a family secret.
Mr. Samuel Beck is on a mission to atone for past failures that still haunt him.
Their meeting aboard a steamboat to Montana sparks an unlikely attraction. They are opposites in every way... except in how neither one can stop thinking about the other.
Will the end of the journey bring the end of their relationship, or is it just the beginning?
The story opens in May of 1869 in St. Charles, Missouri with 18-year-old Fannie Rousseau on her hands and knees, scrub brush in hand, cleaning the dirt off her mother’s gravestone and an elderly Hannah, the family’s long time servant, scolding her for getting dirty. A young woman of her class should not be seen undertaking such a task. With both of her parents now gone Fannie must learn how to properly run a household with staff. As she’s walking around the outside of the house, she notices that old Mr. Walker, the gardener, has been letting things slip. The gardens are becoming over-run with weeds, the shutters need cleaning, and the place looks entirely shabby. Fannie asks Hannah if she could speak to Mr. Walker and tell him that he isn’t doing his job, but Hannah points out that isn’t her job, it belongs to Fannie and all part of learning to run a household which includes reprimanding staff.
While sitting at her mother’s dressing table one morning, Fannie discovers something in the drawer that astounds her. Not knowing what to do, she boards a steamship and makes her way up the Missouri to Montana to find answers to a family secret. Fannie is doing something completely against her nature and certainly the expectation of what society believes how she should act.
While aboard the steamship she runs into one Samuel Beck, a deckhand aboard the Delores who is working his way for passage to Montana, the very place Fannie is headed. However, Fannie’s introduction to Mr. Samuel Beck is one of a most uncomfortable situation.
It seems both Fannie and Samuel are searching for something. Samuel has his bible and the verses he holds dear to his heart to propel him on his way, but all Fannie has are the secrets she carries in her handbag. The odd thing is, neither of them can stop thinking about the other but one doesn’t want to tell the other. Will Fannie and Samuel ever get together or will they learn important lessons about God, love, and how the most unsuitable matches can sometimes be the most significant?
I fell in love with this story from the first page. Fannie and Samuel are both lovable characters. The story made me laugh, made me shake my head and cry out in sorrow and pain for the lives that touched me so deeply in this novel. Ms. Whitson has written a wonderful story of the power of God and the how we aren’t always protected from terrible situations, but we’re carried through them with His love.