Melissa Jagears can tell a story that will leave you asking for more. A Bride to Last is no different. I have to say I enjoyed this book and was so sad to put it down. I met Silas Jonesy, the hero of our story before and was surprised to find him to be the handsome man on the street at the beginning of this story. He was an angry man who took to the bottle when his mail-order bride left him after a short 7- month stay on the homestead.
Kate Dawson, a young school teacher is tending young Anthony's dying mother. When Lucinda passes, Anthony believes Kate will take him in. Lucy had written to his Pa...both of them! Only one is his flesh and blood but also a stranger.
Arriving too late, Silas hadn't the chance for Lucy to tell him that in their brief time together, he fathered a son. Richard kept Lucy as his mistress for a time and Anthony knew him as Pa. He shuddered to thing he would have to live with either man. He heard nothing but bad things about Silas and Richard was cruel and abusive.
Kate has difficulties as a single woman who made her way teaching school and living as a boarder to a family of one of her students. She is held to unreasonable standards and scrutiny. She loves Anthony as if her were her own child and yet, the school board makes it difficult for her. She can't bear to lose him to either man yet she can't keep him and her position as a teacher. What follows is a story of love and healing that will warm your heart in the end. There are many struggles in the lives of Kate, Anthony and Silas.
Getting to know Silas and his trials will give you a glimpse into a man used to living a rugged life. The lengths he goes to to build a life for his son could make any man give up and retreat to his former way of life. But he has faith.
The characters in this book are complex. The scenery is vivid and I can almost hear the coming of the trains at the depot. If you are like me you will feel emotional as the story progresses. I love American History and novels with an historical bent are a standard on my bookshelves. The great migration west in the 1800's was an incredible part of the history of our country. People survived or they did not. Melissa has a gift for capturing the heart of that era. I recommend this book with 5 stars. Pick up your copy at your favorite local book store or online bookseller.