In the early 1950s, Odessa Drake (Dessa) is rescued from a bleak existence with a single mother. She takes a chance on the unknown to work in a boarding house owned by a widowed great aunt in Mineville, New York. Dessa is devoted to Aunt Flo and especially a young man, Nicholas, who appears and takes shelter in the attic, the only available space. Four years pass. She looks forward to each day because of his presence, in spite of the tedious work. Dessa is now eighteen and knows little more of Nicholas than the day he arrived to work the mines. She knows only he is a remarkable man who has a limp and she trusts Nicholas explicitly. There is a familiarity both recognize and an unshakeable bond develops. Nicholas has reasons to keep his past buried. Dangers loom and become evident when Nicholas gets too close and exposes their bond. What is the mystery behind this threat? To discover the answer, they escape by railway heading West, colliding with treachery and uncovering secrets, mile by mile. Their journey is impossible, but, they are supported by friends who risk their lives to make sure a great love and lineage is preserved. Or is it? None will forget their odyssey as they proceed to their destiny farther than they imagined.
Nichola’s and Dessa’s story is cute and romantic yet mysterious and full of adventure, their friends and family complement them so lovingly. I never thought I’d like a mystery book this much but Susan Laffoon made it easy to love. Even though at some point I wanted to stop reading because it was a happy scene and I didn’t want something bad to ruin it, I kept going and, oh boy, I’m so glad I did.
Dessa is… in love, she’s brave and strong and keeps going no matter what gets thrown at her and I think that’s amazing, with or without Nicholas she’s still strong, independent Dessa which I think is really inspiring because it shows you can be in love and be a team with your partner but you can still strongly stand alone which is pretty cool.
Nicholas is just mystery embodied in limping perfection, I loved him even though I was just as clueless as Dessa, he has a dark past and he has secrets yet he’s still kind and loving and not only towards Dessa which is something I really liked, he wasn’t the typical “I’ve got a dark past and I’m rude to everyone except the girl I fall in love with”, he found his own light without Dessa. Nicholas and Dessa are two strong and independent people who complement, stand with, and love each other.
This book is absolutely amazing, I fell in love with every character (especially Nicholas), I loved how Nicholas’ and Dessa’s love was so shy at the beginning, I cried like a baby and felt butterflies in my stomach. This book is incredible. I certainly want to get my hands on a paperback.
5/5 flowers ✿