In 1866 Kansas, Lily Nolan runs away from her abusive, sanctimonious father and right into the arms of a philandering charlatan. Ted Nolan, a partner in Dr. Kasmarks Traveling Show, is peddling superstition and worthless elixirs. Although she is disappointed in her marriage, Lily finds happiness in motherhood until diphtheria claims baby Abigail and her husband.

Cowpoke-turned-itinerant-preacher, Elijah Book, stumbles on an Indian massacre and a dying mother gives him her child to raise. Providence brings Lily and Elijah together and little Samuel gets a wet nurse. But can this tiny stranger heal the pain and calm the anger brewing in Lilys soul?

As Eli and Lily grow closer Madame Zahara (the widow of Teds partner) threatens to pull Lily back into the darkness of Tarot cards and fortune telling. Catherine Palmers bittersweet romance takes on themes of forgiveness and reconciliation with spiritual tenacity. (July, 256 pp., $9.99)

Reviewed by: 
Roberta Blair