OK, we're just gonna pretend that today is the 15th. Cause really? I need ALL month to get my post done. Dear Wendy: pleeeeze give me til the end of the month!!
Conor knows what it’s like to pour all your hopes, dreams, and sweat into a piece of land only to have it come to nothing. He’d already seen his family destroyed and their lands taken during the Irish famine when he was a boy, and he has no intention of sticking around long enough to watch a corrupt man with power do the same thing to Olivia. But she and her three adopted daughters touch dreams in Conor he thought he’d forgotten long ago. Can he let go of the bitterness of his past and make a new future with Olivia? Can he believe in love again, or is it just too late for his cynical heart?
This month's theme was recommended read, and this was recommended by Wendy. She never steers me wrong on the American historicals. Now, what can I say that hasn't already been said during this month's TBR challenge by Phyl, Sonomalass, and Wendy?
I'll just say what I liked. Nothing. What did I love? Everything.
Conor is absolutely full of awesome. Sure, he has his issues. And they're biggies. But he can't help falling for first Olivia's kids and then Olivia herself. The scenes where he's alone with the girls are absolutely wonderful. Heartfelt, heart-warming, and every other heart-whatever term you can think of. I loved that he wanted to admit defeat and get off Olivia's land, and get her off as well, but when push came to shove he stood by her. Every time he needed to.
I loved that Gurhke doesn't shy away from the harshness of the times as it related to both single women and to the Irish. Conor is frequently called a Mick, and Olivia is judged by the gossipy women in town and the men try to take advantage of her.
I loved that Olivia was a strong woman, struggling to survive but doing it. And teaching her children how to survive and stand up for what they think is right.
And the bits of Conor's past mixed in with the present day was wonderfully executed. Oh, how I wanted to wrap my arms around him. I believe it was Wendy who said this book is all about Conor. And it is. All about his journey, coming to terms with his past and his future.
But Olivia also had some growing and stretching to do. I felt a though she did most of hers early in the book, as she learned not to be such a harsh judge, learned how to loosen up a little.
OK, nuff said. Brain = mush. Too many 12 hour days at the office. I'll end with the checklist:
Post-civil war America. check.
Awesome hero. check.
Fantastic heroine. check.
Great kids - not too precocious, not obnoxious. check.
Fabulous plot. check.