The Slow Drift of Stars

A Historical Western Romance

Romance - Historical
350 Pages
Reviewed on 02/29/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Slow Drift of Stars is a work of fiction in the historical fiction, western, and romance subgenres. It is best suited to the adult reading audience owing to some moderate adult language, scenes of violence, and some scenes of a sexual nature. Penned by author Jennie Winslow, the story takes place in 1874 in Boston, where Pearl Buchanan's life of privilege shatters after a devastating tragedy. Overwhelmed by grief, she defies societal norms, escaping to Fargo for a fresh start. The escape, intended for freedom, becomes a dangerous pursuit as her husband's detectives track her. In the West's rugged terrain, Pearl finds a life of struggle and unexpected romance, challenging her notions of love and freedom.

Author Jennie Winslow has crafted a rich and immersive narrative that not only explores the complexities of Pearl's journey but also delves into broader questions of societal expectations and personal freedom. I found the scene-setting and historical atmosphere to be exceedingly well-researched and vividly penned, creating a multi-sensory journey into a bygone era filled with societal constraints and personal resilience. The characters are vividly portrayed through emotive speech and thought presentation, and it all works together beautifully to see how their attitudes are shaped by time, which makes it all the more exciting to follow Pearl as she breaks away and purses her own goals. Winslow's storytelling captures the essence of the American West, but it also draws parallels with modern romance and emancipated women to offer an empowering and enjoyable tale that bucks the trends of the time in which it’s set. Overall, I would highly recommend The Slow Drift of Stars as a compelling and emotionally resonant read for historical romance fans everywhere.

Ronél Steyn

Jennie Winslow brings us a powerful and liberating historical romance in The Slow Drift of Stars. The year is 1874. Pearl Endicott is leaving her life in Boston. It is a life of comfort and excellent standing where she wants for nothing. But, after a horrible tragedy, she is traveling to Fargo, which is known as the divorce capital. All she wants is to get a quick divorce and start a new life in San Francisco. When things don’t go as smoothly as she had hoped, Pearl is forced to make new plans. Can she escape a loveless marriage? Or will the Pinkertons find her and take her back to her husband? And what about the chance of a deeper love that she discovers on the prairie?

Author Jennie Winslow is a magician with words. From the very beginning right through to the end, she pulls the reader into the story and gently carries them along on this amazing journey. Written in the first-person narrative for our protagonist, the emotions and inner thoughts are personal and close to the heart. For the antagonist, the third-person narrative is used, which keeps him at the distance he should be kept. The characters are easily relatable with their development running strong throughout. The Slow Drift of Stars is a story of love and loss, hope and determination, and a little bit of the damsel in distress. Recommended for adult readers due to some of the sexual content, this book keeps the audience engaged and is hard to put down.

C.R. Hurst

The protagonist of Jennie Winslow’s historical romance, The Slow Drift of Stars, is a seemingly spoiled socialite who flees Boston in 1874 to travel westward to a small town named Fargo, where she seeks freedom from an abusive marriage and unthinkable tragedy. However, her path to that freedom is rife with complications as she is pursued by a persistent husband and his Pinkerton detectives who want to return her to Boston to a pampered life she no longer desires. Fortunately, Pearl Buchanan proves to be more resilient than she first appears. During her time in the frontier West, she makes several friends who help her stay one step ahead of her husband and his cronies by escorting her across the American prairie by covered wagon to Denver, Colorado. There she hopes to escape her past and build her future.

I must admit that I thought Pearl Buchanan, at first, to be an unlikeable character who judges everything and everyone according to upper-crust Boston sensibilities and conventions, but the author quickly establishes her heroine as a woman who has never had the opportunity to pursue life on her terms. Pearl’s flight westward allows her to do just that, and as the novel progresses she becomes a woman I found worth rooting for. Another character that I found intriguing was the Indian scout, Dark Eyed, whose untamed spirit and quiet integrity defy the typical stereotypes found in much of Western fiction. The author’s vibrant and fluid prose style is also noteworthy. Jennie Winslow is equally adept at describing the drawing rooms of Boston as she is at capturing the barren beauty of frontier America, making The Slow Drift of Stars an entertaining and evocative read.

Christine Nguyen

The Slow Drift of Stars by Jennie Winslow is a historical Western romance set in early America when native Indians still roamed the landscape. Pearl Endicott is fleeing her opulent lifestyle in Boston and everything she has ever known to escape her powerful husband, Armstrong Endicott. Armstrong is one of the richest and most affluent men in America, but he is a cold, cruel husband. Pearl wants to escape her painful past and start a new life in San Francisco. First, she has to file for divorce in Fargo, a small town that is completely alien to Pearl. Armstrong cannot let Pearl leave and he sends Pinkerton men to get her back. Pearl embarks on a daring mission to San Francisco with the hired help of Dark Eyed, a Lakota Indian of whom she is deeply fearful. Despite her prejudices, Pearl finds herself drawn to Dark Eyed.

Author Jennie Winslow writes an engaging romance with interesting and complex characters. Pearl is not the perfect heroine but has flaws that she must overcome to succeed in her mission to escape her husband. As a reader, I liked to see that Pearl was a product of her Boston environment where she was raised to be biased and racist toward native Indians. This gave the storyline a measure of the reality of how many people felt during that period. The Slow Drift of Stars enveloped me in the beautiful vistas and landscapes of early America. It kept my attention engaged and stimulated. An entertaining escape.

Keith Mbuya

It is 1874 and Pearl Endicott decides she has had enough of her husband Armstrong Endicott, the owner of a multimillion-dollar empire and one of the richest men in America. With help from her family, Pearl escapes from the Endicott mansion in Boston, bound for Fargo, Dakota territory, where she plans to file for a quick divorce. But Pearl has no idea just how much trouble she is in. As soon as Armstrong learns about his wife’s escape, he sends the Pinkertons after her. He wants her back. Pearl is obliged to flee Fargo by wagon in the company of the estranged wife of an abusive husband, and three experienced trackers, off to San Francisco. Can the group outrun the reach of the powerful Armstrong, who will do anything and stop at nothing to get what he wants? Better yet, will they survive the wild and dangerous trails of their voyage to the west? Find out in Jennie Winslow’s The Slow Drift of Stars.

If you are looking for a gripping historical romance novel laced with a compelling tale of love, lust, betrayal, loyalty, secrets, blackmail, bounties, murder, abduction, outlaws, sleuths, Native Americans, and so much more, you should be looking for Jennie Winslow’s The Slow Drift of Stars. Weaving an intriguing plot, Jennie takes readers back in time to 1870s America with nuanced and colorful depictions. It felt like I was in every scene next to every character, helplessly watching the action unfold. I enjoyed the subtle tone and the ingenious plot twists as well as the well-crafted dynamic cast’s emotions. This made them authentic, firmly anchoring the story’s grip on reality. Behind Pearl’s impulsive, spoilt rich girl demeanor is a very compassionate, intelligent, resilient, and perhaps quite naïve person I found adorable. I loved this magnificent piece of work. There is drama, thrills, adventure, and wit, among so much more in this page-turner.