Whitson is a wonderful author, and it's
a treat to read her post-Civil War novel. Her characters are quite memorable, and it's a pleasure to watch them work their insecurities into positive attributes.
When a group of women learns they were misled about the Nebraska homesteads they've been promised, no one wants to go back. Widowed Caroline's family has disowned her, since they blame her Yankee husband for her brothers' deaths.
Ella wants the opportunity to have something that's all hers. Sally wants to leave behind the stigma of divorce. No one knows who Hettie really is, and she wants to keep it that way. Ruth and her son, Jackson, are starting over without the benefit of a husband or father. They find that the best way to start their new lives is with each other to lean on. (BETHANY HOUSE, Apr., 320 pp., $14.99)