Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson

Melanie's book portrays a group of Americans traveling West in 1842 over what came to be known as The Oregon Trail. They were some of the first. In 1843, Melanie says in her Author Notes, more than nine hundred men, women, and children emigrated in what is now known as “the Great Migration.” “During the next twenty years, approximately three hundred thousand Americans traveled West on the Oregon Trail.” (327)

Where the Trail Ends is a great historical novel. Melanie has done her research and portrays what it was like to travel West before The Oregon Trail was well established. The wagon trails were run like a democracy with an elected train leader and a list of rules.
The novel follows eighteen year old Samantha, her young brother Micah, their father, and the family's wolfhound Boaz. The father had planned the trip West for their mother as it was thought the western location would be better for her illness but the trip came to late. It would be two thousand miles from their Ohio home to the Willamette Valley. Two thousand miles of hardship.
Interspersed with Samantha's story is that of Alexander Clarke in Fort Vancouver and an agent of a fur trading company in London. He is getting experience in all aspects of the business as it seems he will soon be running the company. He has a woman of London's society waiting for him back in London – a marriage planned more for social reasons than love.

Melanie has done an excellent job of telling the story of those who came through the mountains, across rivers, through terrible weather, and more, to reach the land they planned to farm. The harsh travel conditions are accurately represented and there is just enough romance to lighten the severity of the story. I highly recommend it.

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of eleven novels. She won the ACFW Carol Awards for two of her novels. She is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family. Born and raised in the Midwest, she and her husband and their two daughters now live near Portland, Oregon. You can find out more about her at

I am participating in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews of this novel here.

Summerside Press, 333 pages.

Please visit your local Christian bookstore to buy this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

No comments: