American Tapestries – Where the Trail Ends By Melanie Dobson

where-the-trail-ends3.jpgAbout the Book: A young woman traveling the Oregon Trail in 1842 must rely on a stranger to bring her to safety. But whom can she trust with her heart?

For two thousand miles along the trail to Oregon Country, Samantha Waldron and her family must overcome tremendous challenges to reach the Willamette Valley before winter. Together they weather autumn storms, hunger and thirst, and the dangers of a wild and unfamiliar country. But when their canoe capsizes on the Columbia River, they must rely on handsome British exporter Alexander Clarke to rescue them from the icy water.
Alex escorts Samantha and her young brother, Micah, to Fort Vancouver. There Samantha is overwhelmed with men vying for her affections, but the only one who intrigues her-Alex-is the one she cannot have. When his betrothed arrives unexpectedly from England to escort him home, Samantha becomes determined to create a home for herself and Micah in the fertile valley far away from the fort. But how will an unmarried woman support herself and her brother in the wilderness alone?
Then Micah disappears into the wilderness one rainy night, and Samantha must rely on the man she loves-the man she’s trying desperately to forget-to rescue her brother before it’s too late.
My Thoughts:
I’ve mentioned before how I love fiction novels that are actually steeped in History. Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson is one of those books. Samantha and her family tell the story of the trek into Oregon. It was a difficult journey, mostly on foot that covered over 2000 miles of hard terrain. You can imagine back to a time when there weren’t paved roads and public rest areas for easy travel. Melanie shows us just how dangerous traveling across an unsettled country was back then. Samantha and her family face the possibility of starvation, freezing to death, (American) Indians that may or may not be hostile, rough and deadly terrain and wild animals like Grizzly bears and Wolverines!
When I was reading Where The Trail Ends, I could imagine Samantha and Micah and how exhausted and ready for a warm bed they would be. We have started doing a little hiking in the Smoky Mountains when we go on vacation. We haven’t gotten to the point where we use tons of gear or have trekked on the rough trails yet, but that is a goal of ours. The little bit we have done, showed me just how hard it would be hiking for MONTHS and MONTHS across rivers and mountains to go to the other side of the country.
I love how the romance in this book is subtle and not in your face. Samantha has to open her heart to the possibility of marriage. Her future changes from day to day and her faith is tested. Really tested in several different circumstances. Where the Trail Ends is just one of those novels that you want to curl up with and read straight through to the end. It is well written, makes you think about the past as well as your Faith and how you handle difficult situations. The hardships they face along the way to the Willamette Valley are very real. Many people really did die along the trail. There is a bit of History regarding the trail at the end of the book and it really helps you visualize what it must have been like. It is a fabulous story!
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MDobson-734.jpgMeet Melanie:Melanie Dobson has written ten contemporary and historical novels including five releases in Summerside’s Love Finds You series. In 2011, two of her releases won Carol Awards: Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (for historical romance) and The Silent Order (for romantic suspense).
Prior to her writing career, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and a publicist for The Family Channel. She later launched her own public relations company and worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for more than fifteen years.
Melanie and her family enjoy their home in the Pacific Northwest. The entire Dobson family loves to travel and hike in both the mountains and along the cliffs above the Pacific.

When Melanie isn’t writing or playing with her family, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.
Find out more about Melanie at
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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Where the Trail Ends as a part of the LitFuse Blog Tour. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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