Friday, May 27, 2016

Crow Mountain, by Lucy Inglis

Hope has been dragged by her mother from exciting London to boring Montana, to spend a month on a ranch while Mom researches the local ecosystem.  There's a cute boy (of course!) with a mysterious past, but otherwise not much to keep her occupied with, until she uncovers a long-forgotten journal.

The journal is written by another English girl named Emily who came through Montana in the mid-19th century.  On her way to Portland to unite with her future husband, Emily's trip goes awry and she is rescued by a frontiersman (with a mysterious past) hiding in the wilds.  At first reluctant to stay and eager to get away, Emily eventually comes to love him.  This leads her to reconsider her plans for the future and discover the joys of frontier life.

Meanwhile, in the present, Hope and her current-day mystery man embark on a trip of their own, which also goes awry.  A series of adventures occur that parallel Emily's in the past.

It ends up being a nice mix of history and adventure.  The bad guys felt a bit over-the-top and I hope Inglis got her historical detail better than her contemporary ones ("passport control" in Helena MT?!), but I enjoyed both stories and the way that they intertwined.  The historical stuff reminded me of Cold Comfort Mountain in a good way and was the more interesting section of the novel.  Overall, this was exciting and engaging, with four strong characters and fluid storytelling.

[Disclaimer:  I received an Advance Reviewers Copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.  This book is slated for release on May 31, 2016.]

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