Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness by Beverly ScottPublication Date: January 31, 2017 eBook & Paperback; 306 Pages Word Project Press Genre: Fiction/Historical/Western Follow the paths of Sarah and Will (or Sam) as they tell their stories of trust, secrets, and betrayal on the frontier in the old West. Their pioneer spirit helped to fuel the expansion into the Western territories of the United States. The two are historically on their separate journeys, yet they remain intimately connected. Through the fictionalized Western frontier tale of Sam and Sarah, the author, Beverly Scott, was inspired to reveal rumored secrets from her family history. In 1878, Will is on the run after killing a man in a barroom gunfight. He escapes the Texas Rangers by joining a cattle drive as a cook headed to Dodge City. He struggles with the dilemma of saving his life or attempting to return to his pregnant wife and five children. Just when he thinks he might be able to return home, he is confronted by a bounty hunter who captures him and plans to return him to Fort Worth, Texas to be hanged. Although Will changes his name to Sam, he remains an irresponsible, lonely and untrustworthy man on the dodge from the law who abandons the women he loves. He ultimately seeks redemption and marries Sarah. In 1911, Sarah, a pioneer woman and widow with five children struggles to find the inner strength to overcome betrayal, loneliness, fears, and self-doubt. Her husband, Sam, thirty years her senior, died with a mysterious and defiant declaration, “I won’t answer!”. Despite poverty and a crippling illness, she draws on her pioneer spirit to hold her family together and return to Nebraska to be near her parents and siblings. When Sarah returns to Nebraska she receives staggering news which complicates her efforts to support her children. She is shocked, angry and emotionally devastated. Since she is attempting to establish herself in the community as a teacher, she believes she must keep her secret even from her own family. Will Sarah find forgiveness in her heart and the resolve to accept her new life alone?
Praise for Sarah's Secret“In the flash of one moment, the trajectory of a man’s life and of those who loved and depended on him changes forever. The developing plot draws the reader in as we wait to see how this one action reaches into and impacts the lives of future generations. Set against the backdrop of a post-Civil War nation, when thousands headed west to escape their past, disappear into the horizon, and remake themselves, this biography is a rich study of pioneer ethos and the risks faced every day. The women touched by this man, who kept his secrets close, are heroines of courage, steadfastness and goodness. Beverly Scott is an author who has a way of painting word pictures that make you feel like you are a part of the story as it unfolds towards the discovery of his devastating secrets.” -Patricia and Craig Neal, co-founders, Heartland Inc. “Using the plain spoken language of the women and men who scratched out life on the hard scrabble plains in the early days of this young country Bev Scott crafts a sharp picture of the violence and the love that shaped the middle of this nation. Every river crossing, each spring planting reveals the conflicts inside the characters and their struggle to survive in contested territories.” -Jewell Gomez, Author, The Gilda Stories
***My Personal Review***
Okay so enough about all that - as I read this book it completely captivated me. I felt totally immersed in the life and times of Sarah Martin, and throughout the entire book all I could do was wonder what the secret was that her late husband Sam had been keeping from her. How would it affect her and their children? And was it something that was SO bad that she would not be able to forgive him? If you read a lot of literature set in that time period they were very religious, so being able to forgive was something that they were supposed to do. But I still had to wonder if it was bad enough that it would ruin her life. I won't give away the plot but I honestly loved this book - and of course when I did find out what the secret was I was astonished. Of course the book began with Sam being sick so we really didn't get to know much about him or his background - something we come to find out in the later chapters of the book. As it all comes together, Sarah's immense inner and outer strength shines through and she watches her children grow up and continues to do everything she can to take care of them.
In all honesty I have to give this book 5 stars out of 5 - it was amazing and one of the best historical fiction books set in the West that I have read. I highly recommend it for anyone from young adult and up because there is no bad language in the book at all that I noticed. I am definitely going to look for more from Beverly Scott after reading this :) FIVE STAR READ!
***I received a complimentary book in order to read and review***