“A Bargain Struck” by Liz Harris is a novel set in Wyoming in 1887. Ellen O’Sullivan has come to Baggs, Wyoming to meet the man she intends to marry as a mail order bride. The beginning of the story does not tell the whole tale at first. Connor Maguire seems less than pleased that Ellen wants to keep the bargain to marry. Ellen is a widow with a secret, but Connor desperately needs someone to help him on his farm and be a mother to his daughter Bridget. To say that the first meeting between the girl and Ellen went badly is an understatement. The novel focuses on the changes among the main characters as they go on with life and with each other.
I was afraid that this would be another “mail-order bride” story, but actually there was more substance to this novel. I enjoyed reading it very much. I was not happy with the attitude of the daughter and her rude and mean actions and words towards her father and Ellen. My thoughts about that were that back in this time in history, I’m not sure the little devil would have gotten by with saying and doing the things that she did, no matter what the father’s excuses were. That is the only part of the book that did not fit for me.