Wednesday, April 10, 2019

“Bending Toward the Sun” by Mona Hodgson

It’s September 1865. The Civil War had ended but its effects linger. Some men have come home from the war; others have not. For Emilie Heinrich, the war presented no personal impact. She had been 14 when it started; her father had not enlisted. The two of them operate a general store in Saint Charles, Missouri, on the Missouri River not far from St. Louis. 

Quaid McFarland was one of the more fortunate soldiers. He had enlisted with the Union forces and he came home, much to his mother’s delight. He hasn’t seen Emilie since she was 14 and in pigtails, but when he does see her now, he unexpectedly discovers a love interest, and interest that Emilie reciprocates.

But there’s a problem. Emilie’s German father does not see Quaid as a suitable husband for his daughter. For one thing, he’s a teamster, driving a delivery wagon, definitely a class below where Emilie is. For another, he’s Irish.

Bending toward the Sun is the second of three “Quilted Heart” novellas by Mona Hodgson (the first being Dandelions on the Wind and the third is Ripples Along the Shore). It’s a historical romance, hinged upon a single question – will Emilie and Quaid overcome her father’s objections to their relationship? 

Hodgson has published some 42 books, including historical novels and children’s books. Her series books include Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek, Bedtime in the Southwest, Real Girls of the Bible, and the Princess Twins books. What initially attracted me to Bending Toward the Sun was its post-Civil War timing and the physical setting of Saint Charles, which is about 10 miles from where I live.

Bending Toward the Sun is a romantic story of overcoming class and ethnic prejudice, steeped in solid period research. 

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