by Carrie Turansky
In Christmas Mail Order Brides
“Travel the Transcontinental Railroad in Search of Love”
Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels
I read this novella in paperback version as part of the four novellas in one collection in Christmas Mail Order Brides. This was 90 pages and I read it in one night, actually got up from bed to finish the end. Carrie Turansky received the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol award for this novella.
Readers – Annika is a Swedish immigrant who was orphaned and worked in Chicago until she agreed to marry the young man who she thought she was corresponding with – a widower with a young child.
When she arrives in Wyoming she instead meets his younger brother, Daniel. Her betrothed doesn’t even come to meet her. That is because he has no intention of marrying her but was threatened by his Pa, who wrote the lovely letters that made Annika want to accept the proposal! Little Mariah and Annika form a bond as Daniel falls for his brother’s fiancé.
Great holiday read. I highly recommend it even if you only read the first novella by Carrie, like I had to do. Three other lovely authors also contributed their novellas – Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, and Therese Stenzel. Savor them on another wintry evening, too!
Lovely voice, tight writing, nice story line, and loveable characters. I will be reading more of Carrie Turansky’s novels! I was privileged to share a table with her at the ACFW conference and hope she gets a very special man’s story written. I won’t spill the beans but I love this particular American hero.
Bibliotherapy elements: Grieving, abandonment/separation, and life transitions.
(Authors – I felt this was a great example of the use of Swaine’s methods from “The Selling Author” which is a book I recently rediscovered after reading it thirty years ago. Because it is a novella the writing had to be tight. She effectively uses all of his techniques with great results. I am going to be honest, as a writer I was a tad distracted by catching the various ways Carrie Turansky made use of these methods. This should not be a problem at all for a reader, however, because her mastery moves the story forward.)
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