Bestselling author Stephanie Grace Whitson's latest historical novel features an adventurous young heroine who joins the Pony Express.
Orphaned Annie Paxton and her brothers may have lost the only home they've ever known, but they're determined to make a better future in St. Joseph, Missouri. Annie dreams of a pretty house with window boxes, and having friends, and attending church every week. But then her brothers spot the ad for a new venture called the Pony Express. "Wanted," it reads, "Young, skinny fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders and willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." Sure enough, both her brothers land jobs as Express messengers, and Annie puts her dreams on hold to work as a cook at Clearwater Ranch, a station along the Pony Express route.
Annie struggles to adapt to her new job--work made all the more challenging when she has so many to feed and few ingredients. The gruff station owner, George, doesn't seem inclined to make her life any easier, or at least not at first. But slowly a friendship builds between them. When Annie attracts the attention of a refined, dashing lieutenant from the nearby fort, she'll have to learn how to trust her instincts and follow her heart, even if she's conflicted about which way it's leading her.
I really enjoyed this book. Annie and her two brothers are forced to leave their family home because of her late father's debts. They move to Missouri to settle down and the boys want to take care of Annie. Then they find out the Pony Express is hiring and move to Nebraska. There her two brothers ride for the Pony Express and she takes care of the people at the station. She learns to deal with the owner, George and his ways but there are also the soldiers from the fort who are gentlemen.
This is a good story! It was great that though the were orphaned, the three of them stayed together and took care of each other. I know both boys wanted to provide for Annie but she also wanted to help them. It wasn't the path that any of them planned on, but it was what worked for them in their situation. The fact that faith and trials were woven through the book just made it better for me. It made me wish I had been alive back then just to witness the evolving of the country (though I'm quite happy with all the modern pleasures we have now!), but the way the author presented it was intriguing and well researched.
It was a 4/5 for me. I really enjoyed the whole story and loved how dedicated her brothers were to Annie.
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.