Here’s the synopsis:
It is 1900. The story follows the fortunes of two orphan train riders, a black southern man the two children rescue, and a young priest who has to find his own way into emotional adulthood. From the first train as Annette and Jonathan cross the country to their adopters in Illinois farm country, to the final eruption into riot, fire, and murder in a coal mining town, dramatic tension sustains through alternating points of view. If you love psychological tension fused with plot action, this is the novel for you.
At first I was surprised that the book is under two hundred pages. I feared that the author would only skim the surface of the story and not delve too deep. Fortunately my hunch was wrong. Bruchman packs a lot of punch into a short amount of space. Yet the story never seems rushed. My other fear was that the descriptions would be lacking. Again, I was happy to find out I was wrong. She has vivid descriptions. One of the main characters is an artist and when Bruchman is describing him at work it’s like she’s using her words to paint a vibrant picture in the reader’s mind.
As a history nut, I enjoyed the bits and pieces of history that she included. Not once did I feel like she was info dumping. Instead she eased me into the time period via her characters. This is Bruchman’s debut novel and I have to say she’s off to a good start. Now I need to find out if she’s working on another novel.