This historical novel occurs just after the American Civil War. Abigail Baldwyn is a widow with four children. But that is about to change.
Leaving Independence and the Oregon Trail
Editors note: Leaving Independence is the debut novel [Amazon link] by Leanne W. Smith. I am friends with the Leanne, so I was excited to read her novel when it came out a few years ago. It is a wonderful story and an exciting read. Leaving Independence has 475 reviews with a 4.6-star rating on Amazon. Yay!*
Abigail’s world is shattered when she receives a letter from the government:
“Dear Mrs. Baldwyn, it is my duty to inform you that your husband, Captain Robert Baldwyn, is not deceased as previously reported.”
She decides to takes her children to Independence, Missouri to start the long trip west to meet her dear non-departed husband. She begins the long Oregon Trail and the whole trip is an adventure. Along the way, the wagon train meets thieves, soldiers, Indians, and cowboys.
Classic Western Themes
This book reminded me of the classic John Ford western Stagecoach starring John Wayne where all the characters in the stagecoach were so different: the respectable people and the outcasts. I recommend that movie if you have never seen it.
The book had lots of different characters on the wagon train. The soldiers, the scouts, the families, the doctor, the pillars of society, and the forgotten people. Add in a thousand-mile journey that is the beginning of Leaving Independence.
This book will be enjoyed by anyone loving historical fiction and good storytelling. The characters are real and enjoyable. Both teens and adults will enjoy the book.
Several weeks after I read Leaving Independence, I visited the Archway Museum in Kearney, Nebraska. It was a perfect time because the museum shows the western expansion and the Oregon Trail. Because of this book, I was already aware of Fort Kearney and it’s role in the Oregon Trail.
You will enjoy Leaving Independence [Amazon link].I loved this book.