Published by Feiwel & Friends on March 27th 2018
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review
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Pride and Prejudice meets Cold Mountain in this debut YA American epic/adventure.
Harriet Winter is the eldest daughter in a farming family in New Hampshire, 1807. Her neighbor is Daniel Long, who runs his family's farm on his own after the death of his parents. Harriet's mother sees Daniel as a good match, but Harriet isn't so sure she wants someone else to choose her path—in love and in life.
When her brother decides to strike out for the Genesee Valley in Western New York, Harriet decides to go with him—disguised as a boy. Their journey includes sickness, uninvited guests, and difficult emotional terrain as Harriet comes of age, realizes what she wants, and accepts who she's loved all along.
First, I have no idea why I thought that this was a fantasy, but spoiler alert, it isn’t. Oops? This is what happens when I don’t read blurbs, but that is okay! I actually liked it better this way, so it’s a win. Anyway. I found this to be an enjoyable and quick book! Most of my thoughts are positive, and as always, we’ll start with those.
- There’s an enormous focus on family in this book. I love that the family relationships are complicated. Some of the relationships are super close and loving, and some frankly aren’t, which seems incredibly realistic.
- I really enjoyed Harriet as a main character. She has tons of strengths, but also tons of flaws. I especially loved that she was willing to accept her flaws, acknowledged when she was wrong, and tried to do better. She was also not okay with the time period’s nonsense way of treating women, which… I feel you, girl. It’s still nonsense, but in Harriet’s day… well, obviously it was an even hotter mess. And she wasn’t here for it.
- There was adventure and pioneer trips! I love a trek through the wilderness, especially in pre-automotive eras. It’s all so… daunting and perilous! And in Harriet’s case, clearly this is all new to her.
- Even though I did have a minor qualm with the relationship (see below) it really was super cute. I liked that the love interest liked Harriet for who she was, and not some ideal of who he wanted her to be.
“Oh, no. That’s just it. He loves you because of your nature.” She sighed. “Rare thing, that.”
- Speaking of relationships, there were some fabulous friendships that formed along the way. I became really invested in all the characters, even the more minor ones. And they added a lot of humor and fun to the story.
- Loved the historical and rural setting! If you’ve ever been in the Batavia, New York area… well, I was having fun imagining it as more rural back in the day.
The Not As Good:
- The plot did feel a bit predictable at times. Which wasn’t terrible even, in this case, since I was mostly here for the history and relationships anyway!
- I don’t really understand what made Harriet start liking Daniel after wanting to be rid of him. I didn’t really buy it, she was just apathetic until she wasn’t, but… Idk, didn’t feel super authentic. However, I did like it a lot after I got over that bit!
Bottom Line: I definitely enjoyed this historical fiction novel with an incredibly heartwarming cast of characters, and a lot of love shared among them!
I um, have no idea what format this is going to be? No one told me and I forgot to ask, and since this goes up on a Sunday.. well, I’ll get back to you. But US Only, I assume. Sorry, international friends! Ends April 9, 2018.