Saturday, March 17, 2012

Queen of the Northern Mines by

“In 1863, California’s gold can decide the outcome of the Civil War.

At Missouri House, a stagecoach stop in the goldfields of the Sierra Nevada, Ida Hatfield and her mother, Molly, are surrounded by danger as Yankees, Rebels, and outlaws vie to possess the glittering treasure of the Northern Mines. In nearby Nevada City, Will Stafford, a young Virginian attorney, finds California becoming as dear to his heart as his Southern homeland. When the War of Rebellion rages on, his loves and loyalties are put to the ultimate test.

Nevada City, The Queen of the Northern Mines, was a vibrant community in the 1860′s. The story’s characters, real and fictional, come from all over the globe. In addition to the central theme of warring Americans, the book tells of Ah Tie, a Chinese mine owner who is denied justice for his two murdered guards; of Peter Kessel, an Austrian musician and absconded revolutionary, who finds an improbable bride in the American wilderness; and of Nutim, a Maidu orphan, who plots revenge against the white ‘ghost people’ who are destroying his tribe.”

What a lovely surprise Queen of the Northern Mines was! From the very first page, it grabbed my interest. The story focuses on Northern California during the Civil War era. The rich and complex historical details were a pleasure to read because they were gently wound around the novel’s intriguing characters and fascinating storyline. The story is told through the point of view of its main character, Will Stafford who becomes interested in Molly, who runs a boarding house. A love triangle develops when Ida, Molly’s teenage daughter, sets her sights on Will for herself. From mine owners, to orphans, to hitmen, there is something on every page to hold your interest. A true treat to enjoy and a wonderful historical fiction novel. 

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