The Bride’s House
St. Martin’s, Apr 26 2011, $24.99
In 1880, seventeen year old Nealie Bent comes to booming mining town Georgetown, Colorado. Two men are attracted to the newcomer, miner Charlie Dumas and engineer Will Spaulding. Nealie turns to Will. They have an affair, but when she becomes pregnant, he leaves.
Dependable Charlie marries Nealie and they live in the Bride’s House. When Nealie dies giving birth to Pearl, Charlie raises her as if he is her biological father. No suitor is good enough for his girl as Pearl becomes Charlie’s business partner. However when she falls in love with Frank Curry, he cannot let go of the only reminder he has of Nealie.
This is an engaging family epic as three generations of females starting with Nealie seem to repeat similar relationship tragedies as if it is part of their DNA imprint. The cast in each era is fully developed as they bring alive that period and make what occurs seem genuine. The Bride’s House reads more like three novellas though the transition from one female lead to the next is smooth. Readers will enjoy staying at the charming Bride’s House where the hosts (Nealie, Pearl and her daughter Susan) have made into a warm home.