#Bookreview The Longest Way Home by Lorrie Farrelly
Heading west in search of a new beginning, Lily Harmon loses her heart to little Maddie Cullinan, an orphan whose father was presumed killed in a bloody battle of the War Between the States. Lily adopts Maddie, so the young widow and the bereft little girl begin to make a new home together in frontier Wyoming, unaware that Maddie’s father, former Union Army Major Luke Cullinan, is very much alive.
An angry, determined man who has sworn to reclaim his cherished daughter, Luke is hot on Lily’s trail. Nothing, and no one, had better stand in his way.
An evocative, poignant story of the healing power of love after the trauma of war and loss, Lorrie Farrelly’s THE LONGEST WAY HOME is the winner of the WESTERN FICTIONEERS PEACEMAKER AWARD for the Best Western Short Fiction of 2015.
Though this is a short story, it covers a lot of ground. It starts off in Omaha, Ne, which I enjoyed as I’ve lived here most of my life. It was interesting to read some of Omaha’s history about the ‘orphan trains.’ I can’t imagine how terrifying and frightening it would’ve been for child to be basically given to anyone who wanted them. Most were probably taken as servants. Maddie was lucky in that Lilly wanted more that; she wanted a child to raise as her own.
Since this was a short story, it did have some holes in the story line. Like I really wanted to know what happened to Lilly’s husband Johah. How did he meet his death? And the relationship between Maddie’s father Luke and Lilly kinda of sprang up without much fanfare. But I do know relationships/marriages back then were forged fast. They had too, to survive the rigors of the Wild West. I have heard that Lorrie intends on rewriting this piece and extending it into a novel. I hope she does as I can’t wait to read it.
If you like westerns with a clean romance and intrigue, I recommend this well-written story. I give it 4 feathers.