April 4, 2015

Looking for Jane by Judith Redline Coopey

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review
Looking for Jane by Judith Redline Coopey
ISBN: 9780982891842

The nuns use this as their measuring stick: who your people are. Well, what if you don't have no people? Or any you know of? What then? Are you doomed?

This is the nagging question of fifteen-year-old Nell's life. Born with a cleft palate and left a foundling on the doorstep of a convent, she yearns to know her mother, whose name, she knows, was Jane.

When the Mother Superior tries to pawn her off to a mean-looking farmer and his beaten-down wife, Nell opts for the only alternative she can see: she runs away.

A chance encounter with a dime novel exhorting the exploits of Calamity Jane, heroine of the west, gives Nell the purpose of her life: to find Calamity Jane, whom Nell is convinced is her mother.

Her quest takes her down rivers, up rivers and across the Badlands to Deadwood, South Dakota, and introduces her to Soot, a big, lovable black dog, and Jeremy Chatterfield, a handsome young Englishman who isn't particular about how he makes his way, as long as he doesn't have to work for it. Together they trek across the country meeting characters as wonderful and bizarre as the adventure they seek, learning about themselves and the world along the way.

My review:
From the first page I felt for Nell. She was dropped at the convent and had a speech problem so others did not treat her as well as they should have. The author did a good job of describing Nell's journey to find her mother as you felt as if you were on the journey with her. I liked that it took place in South Dakota as that is one of the places I like to read about. This was kind of like a girl's version of Huckleberry Finn. Nell had such determination for such a young girl. I enjoyed this book and think it would be good for young adults to read as well. 

About the author:
Judith Redline Coopey, born in Altoona, PA holds degrees from the Pennsylvania State University and Arizona State University. A passion for history inherited from her father drives her writing and a love for Pennsylvania sustains it. Her first book, Redfield Farm was the story of the Underground Railroad in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The second, Waterproof, tells how the 1889 Johnstown Flood nearly destroyed a whole city and one young woman’s life. Looking For Jane is a quest for love and family in the 1890s brought to life through the eyes of Nell, a young girl convinced that Calamity Jane is her mother. Her most recent work, The Furnace: Volume One of the Juniata Iron Trilogy, is set on an iron plantation near where she grew up and tells the story of an ill conceived marriage of convenience as it plays out over a lifetime. As a teacher, writer and student of history, Ms Coopey finds her inspiration in the rich history of her native state and in stories of the lives of those who have gone before.

For more information please visit Judith Redline Coopey’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Be sure to stop by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (click here) to see all the stops on the tour. 

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