Messenger By Moonlight by Stephanie Grace Whitson is one of the most unique books I've read because the story line focuses on the Pony Express. That is a fascinating time in history and this book shares a great bit of details revolving around that time.
About:Orphaned Annie Paxton and her brothers may have lost the only home they've ever known, but they're determined to make a better future in St. Joseph, Missouri. Annie dreams of a pretty house with window boxes, and having friends, and attending church every week. But then her brothers spot the ad for a new venture called the Pony Express. "Wanted," it reads, "Young, skinny fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders and willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." Sure enough, both her brothers land jobs as Express messengers, and Annie puts her dreams on hold to work as a cook at Clearwater Ranch, a station along the Pony Express route.
Annie struggles to adapt to her new job--work made all the more challenging when she has so many to feed and few ingredients. The gruff station owner, George, doesn't seem inclined to make her life any easier, or at least not at first. But slowly a friendship builds between them. When Annie attracts the attention of a refined, dashing lieutenant from the nearby fort, she'll have to learn how to trust her instincts and follow her heart, even if she's conflicted about which way it's leading her.
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I loved this book. The main character Ann is strong and capable. She isn't a swooning girly girl but she is still feminine and sweet. She felt realistic. Having had a hard beginning to her life she overcomes with grace. This book has a strong christian theme and includes the plan of salvation on the pages. Whitson manages to seamlessly weave that into the story so that it felt completely natural. The historical significance of the the Pony Express and the hardships of that time made the story quite interesting. I would have perhaps liked to see a little more romance between some of the characters but the epilogue sums everything up nicely. Overall I very much enjoyed this book.
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