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Distant Dreams (Ribbons of Steel Book #1) [Kindle Edition]

Judith Pella , Tracie Peterson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (544 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The year is 1835 and Carolina Adams finds herself enchanted by an unlikely suitor...the railroad. Frustrated by society's expectations upon her gender, she longs to study more masculine subjects and is thrilled when her father grants her a tutor.

James Baldwin arrives to serve as Carolina's teacher, but of more importance, he is to court Carolina's beautiful older sister, Virginia. Will expectations--and Virginia's southern charm--elicit the hoped-for proposal? Or will James and Carolina dare to acknowledge the mutual interests and feelings growing between them?

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series


  • Editorial Reviews

    From School Library Journal

    YA. Andrew Jackson's presidency and accompanying intrigue form the historical setting for this novel. An almost consuming curiosity about things mechanical, and especially the new railroad, creates frequent conflicts for 15-year-old Carolina Adams. The inquisitive teen faces daily challenges from her family and peers in an age when it is feared that too much education may "cause insanity in women." Fascination for the sight, sound, and even the smell of locomotives isolates the young woman from her convention-bound mother and brings ridicule from her older, socially conscious sister. Only her father and her sister's fiance share her enthusiasm for this new iron monster and seem sympathetic to her appetite for information. Solvency of the national bank, westward expansion, and the wisdom of investing in railroad construction are at issue in this first volume of the series. Subplots include tension in gender roles, parental power, and sibling rivalry?all topics as viable in the 1990s as in the 1830s.?Janice DeLong, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA
    Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    From Library Journal

    In a promising start to a new historical series, Pella (Blind Faith, Bethany, 1996) and Peterson (Entangled, Bethany, 1997) deliver an entertaining story with a dynamic female lead character. Carolina Adams is 15 years old in 1835, and the life of a typical woman in the South is not what she wants. She has become entranced with the new railroad, as is her tutor, James Baldwin. The two are attracted, but James bows to his family's wishes and becomes engaged to Carolina's older sister. When James breaks off the engagement to follow the railroad westward, Carolina puts their relationship in the hands of God. The ending does leave readers hanging, so expect a demand for the sequels.
    Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1500 KB
    • Print Length: 419 pages
    • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Original edition (August 1, 2009)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00B5J4VUU
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,067 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read but just the start of a series March 19, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    From the very first page of the book I felt like I was really in another time. So if you love historical novels, do not hesitate, you will really feel the time of first railroads being built in America, you will get the feel of political context, of social relations, and in the middle of all of that you will find lovable characters.

    Carolina is a young lady eager to study more "masculine" subjects and develops a passionate interest for railroads. Her mother doesn't approve of such interests, as they are not considered ladylike and proper.
    However, her father decides to support her wishes and finds her a private tutor, James, who is courting her sister Victoria and recovering from his railroad accident.

    It takes time until Carolina admits to herself the feelings she is developing for James, feelings that put her in difficult situations because James is always somewhere near her, but forbiden, as the whole society expects his marriage to Victoria.

    I liked many of the characters in the book, not just the main ones, I liked the pace of getting to know them, I liked the way the story developed and how it gave me an insight into the 19th century society.

    What I didn't like is that, even though the book is quite long, it is just the first part of the story, and the one that doesn't resolve the situation between the heroine and the hero. I like to see a closure at the end of the book so if you are like me, just have this in mind so you are not disappointed.

    If you don't mind reading series in sequels, and you enjoy historical fiction, you will find this book to be the start of many hours of an enjoyable read.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfied April 4, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I bought this book thinking it would be a Christian fiction novel with some romance. All it is about is trains, banks and politics. The main characters aren't even the focus. The book switches characters every chapter, and I found myself skipping a lot to see if anything ever developed between the main two. It was a big read with little satisfaction.

    If you like trains go for it.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Mislabeled - NOT a romance April 29, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    If you want to read a book about the history of railroads in the US or a preachy book about women's rights that makes EVERY married woman of the 1800's seem like a shallow, stupid shell of a human being this is the book for you.

    This is NOT a romance. Every woman who aspires to marriage is a brainless caricature. Even the "heroine's" own mother is a stupid, shallow woman with no original thought in her head, who would dash all of her children's dreams. Her sister is an evil, vain girl who does not have a single redeeming quality. Her "best friend" (once full of life and ideas) marries and suddenly seems lobotomized. Even the heroine's father flip flops from the true hero of the story into a monster. Initially, he breaks with tradition and hires her a tutor because he so understands her thirst for knowledge and independance - but then he tries to force her into a marriage to a horrible man who everyone knows she detests. So the father is for 3/4 of the book the pen-ultimate progressive, caring man and suddenly in the last quarter a thoughtless tyrant who has no care for her feelings. ????

    The "heroine" does have a secret love for her tutor - who also secretly loves her. But he is engaged to her evil sister and she never so much as touches him. She never tells him her feelings and he never tells his. Even after he breaks off his engagement to her sister they never get together. So he goes to the mid-west and she is left at home with her books. Which is, of course, fine according to the authors because marriage is a terrible thing...

    It doesn't matter if the book is free. You might not spend a dollar but you will spend your time. And while you can always get the dollar back you will never recover the hour of your life that you will waste...

    The only reason I am giving this book one star is that I am not allowed to give it none.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguingly suspenseful, page turner August 14, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:Paperback
    Distant Dreams is a wonderful book. I liked how it was not your usual romance. You had to deal with the society's rules of the time. I admire Carolina for her tenacity. I'm reading the second book now. Like I said, I like how it's not your usual romance, it doesn't turn out how you expect. I highly recomend it to everyone.
    Comment | 
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    15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book March 18, 2013
    By Soleil
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I love this author's books and this one was a good read as well but I couldn't "handle" all of them in this series (my interest in locomotives can go only so far). The book contained a lot of information (I believe historical facts were accurate). I liked the relationships that were built - colorful, exciting. And found the father's choice of the children's names amusing (not in order): York, Maine, Virginia, Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania (Penny)... :). Enjoyable for sure.
    Comment | 
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars It was one of the best books I've ever read! August 10, 1998
    By A Customer
    Format:Unknown Binding
    I thought Distant Dreams was a very well written book. When I first started to read it I didn't really know what it was going to be about. Once I got to about the tenth chapter and I was really interested I made a mistake and I read the back cover. After that I could never put the book down because I wanted to find out what was going to happen and make sure It was what I wanted to happen. I did run into a problem with the book though. Because the anticipation of what was going to happen next was so unbearable I carried it to school with me. I would get in trouble for reading instead of doing my work. I also loved the fact about how close Carolina and her father were. I am a daddy's girl so I share there closeness. I also found it facinating how she would go to her father with problems and the advice her father gave her was usually prayer, scripture, or he would talk to her about faith. I have already read all three Ribbons of Steel books and am anxiously awaiti! ng the fourth. At the moment I am going back and reading Distanat Dreams for the second time. Even though I prety much know what is to take place it still keeps me on edge.
    Comment | 
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Distant Dreams Review
    This is great reading. Any book with Tracie Petersons name is good. Great for anyone who loves clean wholesome reading. A story of happiness, sadness, love and some Freudian acts. Read more
    Published 1 hour ago by Kindle Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book.
    Published 1 month ago by Debra Lewis
    5.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual story
    Societal conventions of the 1800's are far removed from today so it was interesting to read. The ending also was unlike many others.
    Published 1 month ago by Tessa
    5.0 out of 5 stars A young lady's quest for knowledge when it wasn't acceptable.
    I really enjoyed this book plus I learned a lot about the beginning of the railroad system in our country. I am now reading the second book and will get the third book soon.n
    Published 1 month ago by Katharine Ramfield
    5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this!
    If you like Tracie Peterson this is another gem!! I love that there is more - usually I'm so disappointed that the book ended and now I get to read the next!!
    Published 2 months ago by Rachel
    5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
    I couldn't wait to read the next one. This kept me spell bound and I wouldn't put it down!
    Published 2 months ago by Angel Chapman
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
    Not only does this book have a wonderful story line, but it also gives insight into what was happening during that period in history.
    Published 2 months ago by HydeTider
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book. Can't wait to read them all!
    Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    I enjoyed the historical side of this story for trains. The ending was surprising though.
    Published 3 months ago by Victoria S. Darrow
    5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it as my grandfather worked for the B&O railroad ...
    Enjoyed it as my grandfather worked for the B&O railroad & this gave a picture of its beginnings and development.
    Published 3 months ago by Carolyn J Voegtlin
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