The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway’s Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he’s hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.
With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the warm cookstove to the rowdy shanty boys and the jagged edges of the saw, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting the reader back to the time when pine was king, men were made of iron, and rivers were choked with logs on the way to the sawmills. Readers will have a hard time leaving the Northwoods when they turn the last page.
As a fan of all things historical and by this book being a free read, I thought I would give it a try and God’s honest truth I am glad I did. This book did not need and harsh language or sexual content to carry and make a great story — the characters alone did the job. I loved Katie, she was a strong young woman determined to lead a better life for not only herself but for her younger brother as well — somewhere far away from her husband’s abusive ways. Robert, they just don’t make them like him anymore — he was a kind and honorable man not tolerating belittling from others, he stands up for those who can’t. I really love how about two thirds through the book how he called her “Katie girl”, I thought that was cute, sweet, and precious.