When I read about this bear in the newspaper last week, it immediately brought to mind the giant bear in Jenny's Dream: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho, the third book in this series by Linda Weaver Clarke, published in 2009. Set in 1908, a ten-foot grizzly bear, Old Half Paw, is terrorizing the community of Paris, Idaho, killing sheep and making everyone more than a bit nervous. His story is based on the true story of Old Three Toes, a real grizzly bear. This is just some of the action in this historical novel, Jenny's Dream, which focuses primarily on Jenny Roberts, who's nearly twenty now and at a crossroads.
After two years away at college, Jenny is feeling restless and a bit confused about her future. With dreams of being a writer, she awaits news of a journalism job in Texas. An accomplished equestrian and excellent marksman, Jenny loves the great outdoors, and spends much of her free time in the meadow, getting lost in books and daydreaming about her future. She makes a new friend, Will Jones, and they become quite at ease with each other, but something is not quite right with Jenny. She's struggling with some issues from her past and the need to forgive those who have hurt her.
"It was a secret that she had kept from her family for years, something that was even too difficult to admit aloud. Jenny needed to forgive. But it was a difficult task to forgive those who had hurt her so deeply. The scars were too deep, and she continued to nurse them along. She felt certain the only solution was to run away."
~Jenny's Dream, Linda Weaver Clarke
I'll stop now, before revealing too much of the story, before I need to include a spoiler alert!
Once again, Linda Weaver Clarke's novel transported me back in time about one hundred years ago to the wild west. Her keen attention to detail brought this book to life, and I could almost feel the breezes and the rain, hear the thunderclaps and the bubbling streams. Like Jenny, I relish being outdoors and appreciate the grandeur of nature. The book focuses on the budding romance between Jenny and Will, as well as the continued romance between Melinda and Gilbert. Romances in this series are based on mutual respect and admiration, and present wonderful ideals. Jenny's Dream made me think about the role of forgiveness in my own life, and the need to forgive others for hurting me, both intentionally and unintentionally. All in all, I enjoyed this charming book and recommend it, especially to fans of historical fiction who savor more than a dash of sweet romance mixed in.
Jenny's Dream counts toward the Women Unbound Reading Challenge. Jenny is an independent, educated young woman with ambitions and skills beyond the usual for her day. Thanks to Aarti, Care, and Eva for hosting this challenge.
Linda Weaver Clarke has generously offered to give away one autographed copy of Melinda and the Wild West, the first book in this series, which was a semi-finalist for the "Reviewers Choice Award 2007". To find out more about this book, here's my review.
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Special thanks to Linda Weaver Clarke for sending me Jenny's Dream.