Grog Wars


WESTERN:  Burke Kaufman grew up the son of an unloving but successful German brew master.   Hard work is Burke’s life, until his older brother is killed and he finds himself facing an arranged marriage and forced to travel to America to start a new life.  Leaving his new wife, the beautiful and sweet Lily behind, Burke embarks on a dangerous journey to the Oregon Territories where he hopes to build his brewing business again.


Lily dutifully waits for her new husband to send for her so they can finally begin their life together in America.  When he does, however, a more sinister companion insinuates himself into her life as a travel companion.  Before their journey is through, Lily will discover just how cruel men can be but also how deeply love can grow.


The author does a praise-worthy job of immersing readers in this unique and interesting journey to the new frontier of American circa 1849.  The writing is smooth and enjoyable and the ties to historical events are sewn in seamlessly.  Consistency in characterization slips a bit once Lily arrives in Oregon, but overall it is a delightful ride - until the end. Then, all believability threads seem to suddenly unravel.  From forced marriages to kidnappings to murder, to adoptions and miraculous pregnancies, believability unravels at break-neck speed and ends with the reader shaking their head.  Still, if for the great historical insights alone, this is one that keeps a reader’s attention!


Ruth Lynn Ritter