Hearts on the Wind
Five Star, Oct 2008, $25.95
In 1876 Swedish-American Ingrid Johansson hates the farming life her family has created for themselves in Eden Valley, Minnesota. She yearns for much more as she perfers books like Ivanhoe. Nagging her parents to give her a different life , she persuades them to send her to Minneapolis to attend the St. Agnes Women's Academy where she will study to become a teacher.
At the academy Ingrid and affluent Norwegian-American railroad heir Andreas Eriksen are attracted to one another. When the pair are caught in an unacceptable compromising position, she is warned to carry herself with proper decorum or be sent home in disgrace. As she struggles between her love for Andreas and her love of teaching, her stepsister, Dagmar plots to make Andreas her husband.
This engaging Americana romance provides readers with a strong glimpse of working conditions for those employed by the railroads. The lead couple are both fully developed characters but the key support cast seems thinner than a rail. Still in spite of implausible spins especially involving Ingrid, historical fans will enjoy this look at Reconstruction Era America through the eyes of a young woman who wants the dream.