We're first introduced to Lebanon as a young bayou woman living with her father, Crease and brother Joel. Her mother died while Lebanon was very small so her upbringing was left to the menfolk. So it's not too surprising that Lebanon is just as comfortable hunting alligators as she is in keeping house. While she never learned to read and write, (not for lack of desire) she is well seasoned in survival skills.
I loved the bayou part of the book, I always find that setting fascinating and her first love with Sebastian Ratcliff was soul satisfyingly sweet. They really seemed like soulmates. Unfortunately, Sebastian is betrothed to another and stands by his word...
Lebanon, alone with her misery, can no longer bear her memories in the bayou so she impetuously proposes to a family friend in order to head West.
We're not actually told where they end up settling and if you're looking for much in the way of wagon trails, river crossings and Indian attacks you'll be disappointed (I was not) as the story doesn't dwell on the journey, but rather the destination.
Lebanon is made for homesteading while her husband is not. Partly for this reason and partly because they're very different from eachother there are some serious ups and downs in their married life.
I wont go further because I will spoil things but there is a twist toward the end which is quite surprising. And while some might say it has a possible HEA, the story did not end as I wanted it to and I frowned as I closed the book, which took it down a star for me.
Overall, a good read.
VIOLENCE : Mild
PROFANITY: Very mild, B
MY RATING: PG
* NOTE* There's a paragraph in this book where Lebanon talks of a home remedy for preventing poison ivy blisters: chewing the leaves. I looked it up to see if that really works. It is NOT recommended and serious reactions may occur. Apparently, the thought was to chew very small amounts, (much the way homeopathy works), gradually increasing the dose. But there's no proof that this helps and could be dangerous so is best avoided. Sorry to disappoint. I'm sure you were eager to try this :)