Messenger by Moonlight

Title:  Messenger by Moonlight
Author:  Stephanie Grace Whitson
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Faith Words
My rating is 4 stars.
This is a nice, gentle tale of a young woman who works for The Pony Express.  She is not a rider, but a cook at one of the stations that the riders rode into as well as stagecoaches stopping in.  Annie’s job is to feed the riders, passengers and stagecoach drivers.  She didn’t want to come west, but her two brothers volunteered her for the job of cook without her knowledge.  Her brothers are going to be riders for The Pony Express to earn money to help make her dream of a home come to fruition, so her options were to go with them or be left behind, alone in a new town of St. Jo, Missouri.  She and her brothers had been evicted from the family farm after their father’s death.  Unbeknownst to them, he had big gambling debts and the only way to satisfy them was to sell the farm.  They decided to try to big city of St. Jo for a brighter future.  When they hit town, they quickly learn of a good paying job with a startup company and gain employment for all three siblings.
Upon arriving at the station, Annie has a rough start as the station owner, George Mason, doesn’t seem to like her.  She burns food, uses too much food and doesn’t know where any supplies are kept.  Her brothers seem to thrive at their jobs, but Annie is miserable.  She doesn’t give up and over time she gains the interest of a soldier at a nearby fort.  She also learns her way around the kitchen and shows George she is a good cook.  Annie and George slowly form a friendship.  When a crisis hits, Annie always turns to the little Scripture she was taught by her mother and then to some Scripture passages one of her brother has highlighted for her.
I really enjoyed the Author’s Note after the conclusion of the story.  I found it interesting what her research did and did not turn up about The Pony Express and the role of women in the west.  They had such a difficult life with daily struggles just to survive.  I liked Annie’s brother Emmet, who always pointed Annie to Scripture or reminded her of God’s character when she needed it most.  He was such an encourager and steady, positive influence on her.  This was my first book from this author, and I look forward to reading more of her works.  Won’t you join me?

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