Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Snowflake A Novella by Jamie Carie

Ellen Pierce and her brother are on their way to the Alaskan gold rush. Ellen promised her mother on her deathbed that she would watch over her brother. Ellen's brother is jealous of any man that looks at her. He is not well in his head. Ellen lives in fear of him, never knowing if he will have a "normal" day or if his eyes will have that empty look that she knows means the day will be most difficult. Ellen feels that she has been rejected by God. She feels that the burden of her brother's care is on her and that her life will never be normal.

Buck Lewis is heading the same way but for a different reason. His mission is to find the man that shot and killed his wife. He is determined to bring the man to justice.

When the steamboat that they are on becomes locked in the ice of the Tundra all seems to be hopeless. Buck proposes to take whomever wants to go on a 200 mile trek in the bitter cold to Dawson City. Of course Ellen's brother wants to go. He cannot be reasoned with. Buck is nervous about taking a woman on the trek but they set out. The going is not easy and they lose several lives in the course of their trek.

Ellen and Buck are attracted to each other. Buck is reserved though. He cannot understand how he can have feelings for another woman. His wife has only been gone for 7 months. Plus there is his mission to find her killer. They make it to Dawson City. Ellen collapses and a kind woman named Kate takes her in to nurse her. When Ellen comes around she soon discovers that she is staying in a brothel! Kate is the owner of several such establishments and saloons. Ellen immediately sets out to find work for herself and a place to live. Buck decides he must continue on his search for his wife's killer. On parting Ellen asks Buck to promise to be with her on Christmas day.

Having no success in finding a place to live or work Ellen takes Kate up on her offer of dancing with lonely men for a dollar a dance. She is an instant hit with all the men because of her compassion and caring for them. She listens to their stories and she promises that she will pray for each of them if they would like her too.

Will  Buck be able to keep his promise to Kate and be back by Christmas? Will he find his wife's murderer? Will Kate ever feel that she is loved by God and that he hears her every prayer?

The Snowflake is a quick read. I was able to read it in a couple of hours. The characters were engaging, but being a Novella they weren't developed enough. There were hints of what had happened in the past but not overly detailed. For those that like romantic short stories this will be a perfect read for you!

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