Today is my stop on the blog tour for Willow Creek!
By Sarah Margolis Pearce
Genre: Historical fiction
Mariah Hardwick Penngrove’s wagon arrives in Remington River, California in 1849. Along the way, she lost a husband but developed a back bone. Nothing was going to stop her from living and breathing ‘the beyond’ described by Meriwether Lewis. She kept her mother’s copy of The Journals of Lewis and Clark close at hand, ever ready with an appropriate quote for inspiration. Once Mariah saw Hasten Peak, snow-capped and dominating the landscape above Remington River, she knew she had found her ‘beyond’.
When she becomes embroiled in a land dispute between the bandit, Pajaro Mendonca, and, Po Fong, Chinatown madam and leader of a notorious tong, Mariah’s notion of the wilderness and untouched horizons is turned upside down. At Widow Creek, she finds that decisions are not so straight-forward and that trust is a shadowy business.
Fast forward to 2015.
Three weather-worn and inscribed boulders are found on a remote hillside below Hasten Peak. A manuscript that Mariah penned about her days at Widow Creek is uncovered during a search for the meaning behind the boulders. What was left unwritten about the remainder of Mariah’s life in Remington River is revealed by a group of historical sleuths. The provenance of the boulders and the legacy left behind pins the past to the present.
Wow. I always go into books expecting them to be something I enjoy. I did not expect to be blown away by Widow Creek. It’s beautifully written, and I was transported back to 1849 and the American West. It was so vividly described. This is my first read from Sarah Margolis Pearce, and it will not be my last!
I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. Especially Mariah. Her journey is captivating and I found her complex and wonderful to read about.
This is a historical fiction novel with a bit of mystery. I really enjoyed that aspect because it created some tension where necessary.
Overall, I really loved this book. Widow Creek is going on my list for top favorite books of 2019! I highly recommend this one.
San Francisco writer, Sarah Margolis Pearce, is the author of the novel, The Promise of Fate. Set in the mountains of Northern California, the story spans a century and is woven around a quartet of Maidu baskets and a collection of characters living in the fictitious town of Remington River. Murder, lost love and a fateful connection to the past make this a story that will haunt the reader. Her love of the region and sense of place makes this a book that resounds with Sarah’s affection and respect for the mountains.
Authors that Sarah identifies as influential to her writing include Annie Proulx, Flannery O’Connor, Jack London and Jane Smiley.
A life-long writer, Sarah credits the burgeoning self-publishing movement for providing her motivation to continue working on novels. She enjoys the healthy debate within the publishing industry about the pros and cons of self-publishing, digital media and the future of the book.
Let me know what you think!