I enjoyed Walls for the Wind. I knew that women traveled west in search of husbands, but I had no idea good Christian organizations sent orphans west to basically work as indentured servants on farms or in towns in hopes they would bond with the families who, for all intents and purposes bought them, selecting them off auction blocks as though they were slaves just arrived from Africa. I suppose most of the children did become members of the families who took them in, but as the story shows, not all did. And while the contract stated both parties had the right to terminate it within sixty days (I believe), the agents shepherding the children rarely told them they had any choice but to stay where they were.
When Kit Calhoun of the Immigrant Children’s Home bonds with four of her charges (against the rules), she refuses to break up a set of siblings and allows two older children the right of refusal if they don’t like the looks of the people offering to take them. Thus she finds herself at the end of the line when she receives word her mentor and foster-father has died. The agent traveling with her gives her an inheritance her foster father supposedly left for her “just in case,” and she resigns her position, adopts her charges, and forges on, following the railroad crew building the new Union Pacific Railroad. In Julesberg in the Colorado Territory, she meets Patrick Kelley, the agent for the Company store, and becomes the target of a psychopathic gambler bent upon revenge, thinking Kelley killed his twin. And when Kit again follows the railroad, this time to Cheyenn in the Dakota Territory, both men turn up there, too.
This would have been a great book if it weren’t for the head-hopping. This is the second book in a row I’ve read from the same publisher that was rife with this problem, and it’s a shame their authors have to suffer from such inadequate editing.
If you can read a book that hops from one point of view to the next without getting dizzy, Walls for the Wind is an interesting look at our history and a good adventure.