Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Widow 1881

Boston widow Jane Weber moves to the Dakota Territories to save her respectability but
finds her proper views challenged every step. Rooming with the last Blackfoot Sioux in Flats Junction and navigating a mercurial friendship with the fiercely independent town grocer leaves Jane reeling as she stumbles to understand the town folk and the unwritten rules of the west in 1881. Everyone has a story, including Jane herself and her unpredictable physician employer.

See Giveaway Below
Suppose it is not real. I have not yet felt the quickening. It is early yet – too early to really discuss it. For this employer to know, when my lover had not and my husband could not, feels as if I am exposing my private bedroom to a stranger.                                                  

Terror shoots into me. I hadn’t wanted him to find out! Not so soon and not like this! Damn the Widow! I’d asked her not to speak! Now he will send me back home to be a widowed mother alone in the quietness of my parents’ house and the sharp stigma of the loose widow. No one back east will truly believe the child is Henry’s. They might think I went wild in the west.

No one knows me here. There is some safety in it, and I must convince him to let me stay. And I must tell him the same lie. There’s no other way. Everyone here in Flats Junction must think I was as married and settled as I say. And the Doctor too – what would he think having hired such a loose woman? The shame of my brief, quick desire for Theodore, and the self-loathing I carry rises up and tries to choke me. The Doctor walks away from me, fuming and vibrating with anger and I feel I must follow him to hear my fate.

My heart is beating slowly, pulsing with each step. Will I faint? Will I be able to hold my head to his and beg him? Can I spit out the story I’ve told myself so often that it almost feels true? And will he believe it?

MY REVIEW:  What a book! I had to fight with myself not to skip ahead and see what was going to happen.  This is a book in the tone of a Jane Austin novel written in the Wild West.  As you can tell from the title it is set in the late 1800’s.  Times were changing; society was very unkind and full of prejudice.  Information about our nation was scarce or only what one person passed to another.  Information changing often and occasionally embellished in the telling was then printed in a newspaper thousands of miles away.  This is historical fiction, a very good telling of a story following fairly close to fact of the times and true to the settings of the scenery both in the east and the west.  It’s also a little bit of a western and a love story. 
It is in the second paragraph of a review that a reviewer writes of an author’s writing skills as well as any of those lacking.  I just cannot find anything to write about this author lacking writing skills.  Most times I can find something I would have preferred an author do differently but not so in this novel.  Sarah Dahmen seems to have created all of the parts of a good story here. The characters are so well-developed, they become your friends or your enemies.  The storyline is good enough to want to read as fast as you can but yet not miss a word.  Much of this book is written as a narrative from the perspective of the main character, Jane Weber.  While this is sometimes difficult to do, it was very enjoyable here. Jane’s thoughts and feelings seemed to keep my attention throughout the book.  Oh, don’t get me wrong…there were a few times I wanted to pick Jane up and shake her for not seeing what was right before her.  This is not a lack in writing skills.  When an author can get a reader so involved, that is just good writing.  
After reading a review like this, you must know I think you should make the opportunity to read this book. I’m going to check and see if she has written any more and sure hope she is working on a new book now.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sara Dahmen is a metalsmith of vintage and modern cookware and manufactures pure metal kitchenware in tin, copper and iron. She is the owner and operator of House Copper & Housekeeper Crockery: American-made cookware created with pure and/or organic materials featured in Food and Wine and Root + Bone magazines, among others. She has published over 100 articles as a contributing editor for Veil Magazine and writes for many book and review blogs. She has spoken at TEDx Rapid City in 2016, speaks across the country at multiple writer conferences such as the Writer’s Institute and RWA Nationals, and co-chairs the Port Washington Literary Festival since its inception in 2013. Prior to her writing gigs, Sara was a print, radio and TV producer before owning and operating a nationally award-winning event planning company for ten years. When not writing or sewing authentic clothing for 1830’s reenactments, she can be found hitting tin and copper at her apprenticeship with a master tinsmith, reading the Economist or hanging out with her husband and three young children.


Twitter: @saradahmenbooks
Instagram: @housecrockery
Buy link unavailable but can be found through websites above

Sara Dahmen will be awarding a set of American-made pure maple wooden spoons from the author's kitchenware line (www.housekeepercrockery), valued at $60 (international) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  

Enter to win a special prize from the author's company - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember...the more you comment the better chance you have to win.  Dates and Blogs to check out are here:


  1. Kathy!! Also - yes, there's another book coming out, should be in 2018, called Smith 1865. It brings to front one of the other characters and weaves her story into the mix. Eventually, there will be a six books. Thank you again for this amazing, wonderful, lovely review!!

  2. Thanks so much for the info Sara. Hope the other readers put the books on their "to be read" lists.

    P.S. As you can tell...I thoroughly enjoyed your book.

  3. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you :)

  4. I can only hope. And regardless...thank you again. I’m outlandishly pleased you had such wonderful things to say!! It’s an author’s dream. Thanks again!!


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