Jenny Goodnight


HISTORICAL/WESTERN:  Jenny Goodnight, a missionary, is asked by her aunt to go to Legacy California to find out what her Uncle Matthew is doing. Jenny feels an obligation to her family even though her uncle deserted her.  When she arrives in Legacy and sees that Matthew is threatened by John Henry Evans, she pulls a gun on him. Jenny does not trust John nor does he trust her. As Jenny attempts to become part of Legacy, she discovers she is an outsider no matter what. Furthermore, she discovers that the Evan’s family run the town, politics are dirty and her uncle has dangerous secrets. Matthew also has no qualms about blaming the Evan’s for everything nor about hurting anyone, including Jenny.  When Uncle Matthew is murdered, Jenny must find out who killed him without being blamed for killing him herself. 

This is an satisfyingly suspenseful western story that will definitely keep the reader guessing about all the mysteries swirling around the small town!  Unfortunately, some of the characters’ motivations and a few of the plotlines aren’t fully explained which causes confusion. The slight romance between Jenny and John Henry, even with the slowness of the relationship, does not seem believable either. It really doesn’t seem as if the two even end up together. Jenny, the gun-wielding, spirited heroine is just a delight and that makes her so lovable. She carries the book wonderfully even with everything happening. John Henry seems an afterthought but still makes a swoon-worthy hero. The book is well-written and a visually stunning display of the American frontier!

Roslynn Ernst