By Sandra Dallas
St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99, 400 pages
This is a wonderfully engrossing novel about three generations of women who loved neither wisely nor too well, and lived in The Bride’s House in Georgetown, Colorado.
The Bride’s House was built for Nealie Bent by a man no one thought would ever be anything much. But Charlie Dumas was determined to have her, and after Nealie discovered that her lover, Will Spaulding, already had a wife, Charlie won out. Nealie was only 17 when she died giving birth to her daughter Pearl. Even though Pearl wasn’t his, Charlie loved her fiercely and taught her everything she needed to know, except how to protect her heart. Frank Curry just gave up too soon, so Pearl went to Europe to have her baby.
When Pearl was thought to be too old to get married, Frank reappeared — a wealthy man in his own right, and finally claimed Pearl as his own. Their daughter Susan was nothing short of a miracle, but Frank now had his own business concerns in the east — Chicago, to be exact — so Susan only spent summers in Colorado. Susan has always loved Joe Bullock, but when he goes away to college, she falls under the spell of the slightly older airman, Pete, who doesn’t survive the war.
The Bride’s House continues as it always has — sheltering the brides who live under its roof.
Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz