Friday, November 7, 2014

Searching for Silverheels by Jeannie Mobley

Have you ever had an eccentric, irascible old person in your life?  I've known several:  friends, relatives, and strangers.  They have their own ways, their own beliefs and you aren't going to change them.  They can be intimidating or overwhelming when you're young.  There's one in this story and before you get to the end of the story, you'll be fond of her.  She's a one-of-a-kind.

Margaret K McElderry Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It was published in September, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Pearl is helping her mother run the cafe.  They feed the local miners and townfolk and those who make a stop on the train.  Her father is a miner and has gone to work onsite.  Pearl's life is steady and a bit boring but she entertains the tourists with the story about Silverheels.  She was a dancer that was in town when smallpox came through.  Pearl makes her a heroine who helped the miners and then disappeared.  When the local newspaper lady disagrees with her, it turns into a contest.  If Pearl can prove her story is true, Josie will stop handing out suffragist pamphlets in their cafe.  If she can't, Pearl will help her hand out the pamphlets when the train comes in.

Another complication is George Crawford.  He's good to look at, his family has money and he's interested in Pearl.  This is a dream come true.  Except he doesn't believe in the women's movement and has his own ideas about a woman's place.

While Pearl digs for the truth, she finds Josie has another side to the story about Silverheels that is not so kind.  She isn't sure what to think and she's determined to find the truth.

This is a story about Pearl growing up, learning about men, and learning about people.  She finds virtue in Josie when almost everyone else doesn't like her.  She finds out George isn't such a great catch.  She also finds out a secret or two that she doesn't tell anyone.  She's lost one heroine, but she's found another.

I enjoyed reading about Pearl and wouldn't mind another book to follow her life a bit farther.  One thing this book points out is that you never know a person unless you've walked in their shoes for a while.  The good upright people might not be and those who appear to be nothing can be a lot.  Life's interesting that way.

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