Sunday, 24 October 2021

B Book Reviews

Maggie's Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley


Reviewed by Deborah M. Piccurelli

This is the first installment in the McKenna’s Daughters series by Lena Nelson Dooley. I have already reviewed Catherine’s Pursuit, the last one, because that was the one being marketed at the time. In the near future, I expect to write a review of the second in the series, Mary’s Blessing.

This is a great read to begin the new year with. Just as enjoyable as Catherine’s Pursuit. The story begins with a Prologue where Joshua and Florence Caine are expressing their sorrow over their inability to begin a family as they travel west in a wagon train. Shortly thereafter, Lenora McKenna, who had been with child throughout the journey, gives birth to triplet daughters just before dying. Her husband, Angus, is both devastated over the loss of his wife, and distraught over having three newborn babies to care for and raise alone. Ultimately, he does what he thinks is best: Give up two of the babies for adoption to two other couples on the wagon train, one of which are Florence and Joshua Caine.

As Chapter one opens, we see a beautiful young woman, Maggie Caine, who is preparing for her 18th birthday celebration. A primary interest of Maggie’s is designing dresses, but her mother, Florence is not happy with that, and tries to deter her daughter from pursuing such a career. These two do not get along, and Maggie feels nothing she does pleases her mother.

At some point, Maggie decides to find a dress of her mother’s in the attic that she could re-design for herself to wear to her own birthday party. Maybe her mother would like it. As she searches through old trunks holding clothing of her mother’s as a young woman, Maggie stumbles across another smaller trunk hidden inside one of them. Upon opening it, she discovers that she has been adopted by her parents.

Though upset, Maggie doesn’t let on what she knows, but more tension develops between her and her mother. She decides to take a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas, where her grandmother lives and owns a clothing design business. Joshua relents, but assigns his business partner, Charles Stanton, an old friend Maggie grew up with, to accompany her and her Aunt Georgia on the journey by train. As they travel together, Maggie develops romantic feelings toward Charles, but he seems to be interested in Georgia.

Maggie learns much about the designing business on this trip, along with feeling like she belongs, and about love. But what will happen when she confronts her parents about why they never told her she had been adopted? And will she ever find her sisters? Will Charles continue to pursue Georgia, or could he ever see Maggie as a grown woman, instead of the little girl he used to tease?

As with the first book in the series I reviewed, this book flowed with ease. The story was written in a way that renders the reader helpless, unable to stop once they’ve begun. I truly enjoyed this book, and, as I stated in the first review, you’ll want to read the whole set.






Maggie's Journey (McKenna's Daughters)

Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she's adopted. The spoiled daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed by her real parents and by the ones who raised her. But mystery surrounds her new discovery, and when Maggie uncovers another family secret, she loses all sense of identity. Leaving her home in Seattle, Washington, Maggie strikes out to find her destiny. Will Charles Stanton, who's been in love with her for years, be able to help her discover who she really is?


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