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Where the Trail Ends Review

Title:  Where the Trail Ends 
Author:  Melanie Dobson                                                                                                              
Pages:  333
Year:  2012
Publisher:   Summerside Press
        Melanie Dobson has created a wonderfully entertaining story set on the Oregon Trail in 1842.  The words she uses to describe the setting and the characters’ emotions bring them to life.  It is as if you are right there seeing what they see and feeling what they feel.  This book is part of a series entitled American Tapestries.  Other authors are also contributing to this series, each book having a different setting and time period.
        Samantha Waldron has literally walked thousands of miles.  She started her journey west from Ohio with her father and young brother, Micah.  Her mother died six months ago when her journey begins.  Her family travels to Missouri to buy all their supplies and start their trip from there.  She can’t wait to reach the end of their journey in the Willamette, an area in the Oregon Territory that is said to be fertile and teeming with game.  Her father has left behind his life as a lawyer and plans to raise herds of animals and farm in their new home.  He is hoping Samantha will marry the young man who is second in charge of their wagon train when they reach their destination.  Samantha isn’t sure she can trust Jack with her heart.  The wagon train faces many struggles such as Indian encounters, no water, bad water, disease, no grazing grassland for the oxen that pull their wagons, internal division.  At one point, the wagon train splits due to a vote of no confidence in their leader.  They must get through the Blue Mountains before winter sets in or they won’t survive.  They are forced to leave many of their belongings behind and constantly are on the watch for wild animals.  They are so close to the end of their agonizing journey when the unthinkable happens…another death.  How could God allow this now?
        Lord Alexander Clarke works for the Hudson Trading Company with his uncle being head of the company.  Alex has been sent to the Oregon Territory to oversee portions of the fur trade and learn the business from the ground up.  He has been engaged to an English lady back in London for five years.  The longer he stays in Oregon, the more he wants to stay permanently.  He knows Judith will not want to live in the wilderness, so he resigns himself to the marriage, returning to London, and taking a position as the head of his uncle’s company.  Then, he meets Samantha by rescuing her and Micah from drowning.  He begins to spend more and more time with her and begins to have deep feelings to her, but he is promised to another.  He can’t break his word.  Samantha sees Alex as a hero and soon loses her heart to him, but knows he can’t marry her because of his prior commitment.  After five years, Alex sees Judith for the first time as she gets of the ship arriving from England.  He doesn’t love her and she doesn’t love him, but she likes his money and position.  How can God work this out?
        I couldn’t put this book down, finishing it in one day!  I got so involved with the characters and what was going to happen next.  The overriding theme that the two main characters face is that they must rely on God to provide for their needs and He will always be faithful in His care of His children.  Great job Melanie!
        My rating is 4.5 stars.             
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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