The Shadow of Wildflowers


WESTERN: Set in 1890 Montana, young Laine sets out to find her biological father. She had lost her mother at birth and now, grown, hopes to connect to a father she never knew. Instead, she finds more than she bargained for. Forced to run away in fear, she finds herself in Idaho and at the farm of another family torn by heartache and tragedy. She meets Jake, a young widower full of grief from the loss of his wife and children, and his mother, Jayne, who is suffering from a debilitating injury caused from a recent lye accident. Laine stays on to help Jayne adjust to her blindness. Aggression and distrust dominate their fledgling partnership.  Jake, Jayne, and Laine must either come together to see their way out of their grief, anger, and brokenness, or allow pain and heartbreak to keep them apart.

Ready for a multilayered novel set in the frontier of America’s west? Ready to shift through the sorrow and pain to find the hope and the resiliency of the human spirit? Alta Ione’s narrative delivers creative prose and complex storylines. The story is realistic and heartfelt, offering solid characters the readers will care about. Homophone errors and bouncing between past and present throughout distract from the storyline and the antagonists seemed overdone. The author’s style of putting other character’s actions in speaking character’s dialogue tags can also lead to awkward reading. While the ending did not provide the HEA many could hope for, the conclusion will afford a fresh and contented happily for now.

Emerson Matthews