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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
A Journey Along The Mormon Trail is the thirteenth entry in a series of Westerns by Raymond Cook, a tantalizing read with memorable characters and powerful plot points. A miner in Marble, Colorado, Jim Liley lost the sight in his left eye due to an injury. After buying a house in town, he wants the company of a wife. So, he places a mail-order bride ad in a newspaper. This ad catches the attention of Kristy Greenfield who starts communicating with Jim, something that eventually leads to her traveling to Colorado to marry him. The narrative documents Kristy’s 1,000-mile trek, amidst multiple dangers and risks in search of happiness. Can she survive the trek and, if she does, will she find the happiness she has risked everything for?
With a steady pacing, Raymond Cook takes readers on a Western adventure in a period when mail-order brides were still making history. This is a compelling narrative that answers the question: What can one risk for true love? While there are many interesting characters in the narrative, I was hooked by the deft manner in which the author handles Kristy. Her decision to move to Colorado appears to be insane. But with each step she takes and with each obstacle overcome, the reader encounters a new person. She develops throughout the narrative in a beautiful way and one notices the grit and the resolve in her character. A Journey Along The Mormon Trail has strong characters, beautiful prose, and a setting that readers can easily imagine. While the story has well developed literary elements, like suspense, the narrative voice is strong enough to keep the reader fully engaged.