Nineteen-year-old Aldine McKenna is stuck at home with her sister and aunt in a Scottish village in 1929 when two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell. Aldine's sister converts and moves to America to marry, and Aldine follows, hoping to find the life she's meant to lead and the person she's meant to love.
In New York, Aldine answers an ad soliciting a teacher for a one-room schoolhouse in a place she can't possibly imagine: drought-stricken Kansas. She arrives as farms on the Great Plains have begun to fail and schools are going bankrupt, unable to pay or house new teachers. With no money and too much pride to turn back, she lives uneasily with the family of Ansel Price - the charming, optimistic man who placed the ad - and his family responds to her with kind curiosity, suspicion, and, most dangerously, love. Just as she's settling into her strange new life, a storm forces unspoken thoughts to the surface that will forever alter the course of their lives.
Laura McNeal's novel is a sweeping and timeless love story about leaving - and finding - home.
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A Haunting Quality
Yes, I loved the story. It was very well written and the author somehow captured the kind of haunting quality I associate with the finest Scottish authors.
I liked all the characters and could feel empathy for their situations.
Sometimes her Scottish accent was a bit off the mark but I loved her voice and felt she covered the range of characters from children to men very well indeed.
I felt the tears pricking at my eyes at the very end when Clare realizes who the mystery visitor is.
I would recommend this audiobook. It was so well written and narrated that it filled me with a nostalgia for a place and time I have never experienced in real life. To me that is a remarkable achievement for any author.