Title: A Reason to Live
Author: Maureen McKade
Published: 2006, Berkley
Category: Historical Fiction - Western
Going camping last week put me in the mood for a rustic story. Lol. So I picked up this western. People seemed excited that a new western was actually being published, and it was getting pretty good reviews. I thought it was nice, but, well, pretty meh.
The setting is the south right after the Civil War. Laurel Covey is a war widow who was a nurse through the war. Whenever a soldier died on her watch, she wrote down his last words. Now that the war is over, she's vowed to visit all those soldiers' families to deliver their final messages. On the way, she meets Creede Forrester, who is the father of one of her patients who died. Laurel is mentally scarred from all the horrific things she saw nursing, and has a great deal of guilt over not being able to save everyone. Creede is dealing with his grief over his dead son. Together they travel through the south delivering messages.
This was just...fine. Nice enough. I thought Laurel's fears about her mental stability were interesting and realistic. I can only imagine what nursing on a battlefield would do to one's psyche. The love story was sweet.
But it just didn't really grab me. I found myself not caring all that much about the characters. And the writing did not seem very inspired to me. Too often falling back on tired and overused phrases. Maybe I'm being too harsh. I did think it a nice story. And the cover is so pretty! ;p