Undeliverable: Addressee Deceased


Mary Anne felt she needed to flee the coal-covered streets of Scranton, leaving behind her lifelong friend Ravlen, her bobble-brained sister Bobby Sue, drunken father, trouble making twin brothers, and enabling mother. In her quest, she has agreed to be a mail order bride to an aged rancher in Idaho. Mary Anne had corresponded with he betrothed sister Emma, whom she later discovers mislead her. On her wedding night the old man dies, leaving Mary Anne all his property, possessions, and the ranch. Left alone on the vast ranch with two cowboys, one who thinks she is a witch, how will Mary Anne fair? Will she thrive, return to Scranton, find true love, or something else?

This enjoyable novel begins in the streets of Scranton in 1873 then quickly takes the reader to rural Idaho. The story fluidly moves between the two locations through letters between Mary Anne and Ravlen. Contemporary language is used throughout, however, so if one prefers authentic usage in their historical stories, this may be grating. While there are predictable scenes, there are surprises along the way. There is also humor laced throughout. Ravlen’s relationship with his boss’s daughter is a bit of a problem. He quickly sees her as a frivolous, jealous, petty young woman with whom he needs to flee, yet he stays. Why? It is never explained. Also, the side story of bobble-brained Bobby Sue, who once married, is never heard from again. The same thing happens to the twin brothers after they depart for California, leaving ends that are never tied up. The story does conclude nicely with a very satisfying ending.  Overall, this novel is a pleasant, quick read.

Lynnette Boyer