Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher looks at a time in Shannon Adair’s life during the Civil War, as she moves from the home she’s always known of Virginia to the Idaho Territory with her father who is a minister. The new town she finds herself in is not the type of place she imagines spending her time, as she is now living in the gold mining town of Grand Coeur which has saloons and brothels, something she was not used to in her hometown. Shannon also must come to terms with the fact that she is a staunch Southerner and does not want to befriend anyone who sides with the North in the Civil War. As Shannon tries to find her place in this new community through using her nursing skills, she begins to form relationships with the residents of the community. She finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely man, a driver for Wells Fargo named Matthew. Shannon served as a nurse to Matthew’s sister who was dying of cancer, and their relationship grew from there.
I really enjoyed this book, since I love the setting of the Civil War. It was also interesting to read about a Southerner so far out of her element during this trying time in history. I liked seeing how those from different areas of the country felt about one another during this time. Although I liked the character of Shannon, there were some characteristics which did not make her the most endearing character, but she truly felt her beliefs were correct, and she did not want to compromise. I can understand and relate to this as I often find myself thinking my way is always the right way.
The book was also a quick read, and I liked that I didn’t have to think too much while I was reading this book. Although there were some difficult subjects discussed, it was still something which would be appropriate for teenage readers.
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