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A PLACE CALLED HARMONY (HARMONY PREQUEL) BY JODI THOMAS: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, March 30, 2015

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4 star

 

A Place Called Harmony

By Jodi Thomas

ISBN# 9780425250785

Author’s Website:  http://www.jodithomas.com/index.html

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una

a-place-called-harmonyDescription:

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas has captivated America with her novels set in the small town of Harmony, Texas. Now she tells the story of the three hard-luck men who first settled the town, a place where last chances and long-awaited dreams collide…

Desperate to escape his overbearing father, Patrick McAllen disappears with his bride, heading north to build a new town—discovering strength, honor and true love along the way.

After drinking away the grief from his family’s death, Clint Truman avoids jail by taking a job in North Texas and settling down with a woman he vows to protect but never love—until her quiet compassion slowly breaks his hardened heart wide open…

All Gillian Matheson has ever known is Army life, leaving his true love to be a part-time spouse. But when a wounded Gillian returns home to find her desperately fighting to save their marriage, he’s determined to become the husband she deserves.

Amidst storms, outlaws, and unwelcome relatives, the three couple’s band together to build a town—and form a bond that breathes life into the place that will forever be called Harmony.

Review: 

Ely Harmon has a vision to build his own town for then he will be able to bring his wife and children to live with him. To build a town he needs a carpenter, a lawman and a planner and thus the story begins. It takes part in the wild west of the US as the settlers started to move west. The land is vast and lawless but Ely promises the new comers that if they work for two years he will deed them land. Ely’s own family is a mystery. Why aren’t they coming?

Clint Truman, an embittered widower who has thrown himself into a life of drinking and brawling, is given a choice by the Sheriff who arrests him. Take this offer or spend time in jail. The only drawback is that he has to go to this assignment with a wife. The person chosen is Larissa (not his type) who has just been released from jail carrying a 2 day old baby. She is thin and haggard but carries herself like a lady. Larissa although terrified of men agrees to marry Clint (what else can she do) and they go off with a marriage in name only and many rules. The Truman’s arrive at the site and slowly with time build a relationship with each other.  Truman is known as the Best shot in the west and is an obvious choice to be the lawman for the new town.

Patrick McAllen and his wife Annie are young and marry to rid themselves of a life of drudgery and physical abuse. Patrick’s brother Shelley, a mute, eventually joins them also, as well as Patrick’s 4 sisters. The McAllen’s story is a young love that matures through time as they learn about each other. Knowing nothing about loving (each other) physically Patrick and Annie learn by touch and feel and decide from the beginning that they will keep nothing from each other. Patrick and his brother are carpenters and slowly start to get the homesteads built. Will Patrick’s abusive father find them?

Gillian Matheson is a military man that receives a note that his wife needs him. He leaves his post and is travelling to meet her when he meets up with Jessie a girl who was brought up in outlaw gangs and has known no love in life. She doesn’t even know her age. Matheson travels with her and it is she who brings him to his wife wounded after they meet up with an outlaw gang. The outlaws want Jessie to return to the gang. Gillian has never been there for his family (he finds out that since he was gone he has had twins and now has 4 children) and decides to leave the army to be a better father. He is used to commanding so that brings friction in the group but they find out  he is a planner and lawyer and can see the larger picture. Jessie finds with the Mathesons the family she never had.

The families all live together in the same house in the beginning and bond and form a relationship. They also form a loyalty and protectiveness towards each other.  This is tested as challenges to their survival and safety perpetrate the novel. It is interesting to see other people come into the town, each given a job that the town needs to survive even though they may not have done the job before. A good example is the person given the undertaker’s role who came to town destitute and impoverished with no set job skill. I enjoyed how they incorporated all these people into positions as the town needed them.

The story is easy to read and draws the reader in with suspense, comedy, and a bit of Wild West shoot outs.  It tells the hardships and trials of the early pioneer settlers as they tried to tame the great western frontier.  I look forward to other stories about Harmony.

 

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