“The Trail Beyond” is Book #1 in the Trails series, written by Sally Demaray Hull. It is a Christian fiction book taking place along the Oregon Trail.
Rachel Nathan is a spoiled, prissy daughter of a wealthy Boston banker, her father, who has lost their family fortune and decides to take her and her brother Johnny to Oregon to start over. Theirs is one of the wagons in a train headed by an unscrupulous wagon master. Of course Rachel’s father doesn’t know one end of a wagon from another so the family finds it hard going. Rachel is determined that she will not mingle with the “riffraff” and will keep her brother from playing with “their sort”. She is also very anti-Irish. This sets the stage for the rest of the novel.
I thought I might like this book after reading the synopsis. I though the idea of a staid Boston miss getting her comeuppance along the wagon’s way would be highly entertaining. However, I didn’t bargain for the constant Christian preaching written in the novel. It was over-kill. I also expected the wagon train to run into pestilence and problems along the way, but I didn’t expect that this wagon would end up alone on the trail because of a mean wagon master; and that they would be visited by snakes, bears, wolves, smallpox, Indians, tornadoes, snow storms and who knows how many other deterrents during this short book. It was too much! I would have marched myself back to Boston on foot! I also found it quite laughable that at the end of the novel, the wagon only had to cross a hill and lo and behold…they were miraculously in Oregon.
I am very sorry, but I would not recommend reading this book. It seems like the author wanted to get as many old west horror stories. After reading chapter after chapter of worries and woes and becoming frustrated by the relationship between Rachel and her Irish preacher husband – yes that is just what I meant – I could not take this book seriously. I won’t be reading any more books in this series.
I downloaded a free Kindle copy of this book on Amazon.com. I am posting my honest review of the book.