Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Where the Wind Blows" by Caroline Fyffe

Equine photographer Caroline Fyffe enters the world of historical fiction with her novel, "Where the Wind Blows," a Western romance that goes beyond most romances.

Take one chivalrous cowboy, trying to do a last favor for a dead coworker. Add one new widow trying to rescue a young girl from an orphanage. Season with grief, love and joy then bake until well done. Top with pioneer spirit and serve.

Follow this recipe and you’ll get “Where the Wind Blows,” the award winning debut novel by Caroline Fyffe. Set in the Wyoming Territory a little more than ten years after the Civil War, Fyffe’s story provides a more satisfying read than many historic romances. Her plot goes deeper than simply two people falling in love.

She builds the relationships within the story layer upon layer and fills the book with a variety of characters, both pleasant and unsavory. The story explores the subject of “what constitutes a family?” with Jessie Strong, the young heroine, determined to adopt the orphaned toddler even as she learns she has been widowed. A grandmotherly woman in the nearby town offers advice and friendship to Jessie. Two teen-aged boys enter the picture as well.

And, of course, there’s our hero-Chase Logan, on his way to his next job by way of the Strong ranch to deliver his sad news. Fyffe draws him with a strong brush: imperfect but well-intended and very, very human.

Her descriptions of the land ring true in their rich detail. If you enjoy Western fiction, you will enjoy the West as portrayed in “Where the Wind Blows.” While the book won the Golden Heart award from the Romance Writers of America, it strikes a good balance between romance and Western. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that men enjoyed it as much as women.

“Where the Wind Blows”
By Caroline Fyffe
Published by Dorchester Publishing

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