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Reviewed by Patricia Day for Readers' Favorite
Laura’s Secrets by Augusta Wright shares the life and trials of a young girl, Laura Ralston Brown, who is forced into marriage with Abner Brown, a much older man. Their union repays a family debt. Imagine, fifteen years of age and wed to a brutal old man. To further deepen Laura's emotional horror, after joining a wagon train headed for California, he decides they are leaving the wagon train to buy and work a remote mine instead. It is not the life Laura had imagined for herself. Not that she was mature enough to understand the world or know what she wanted from life, but this was not what she was promised when she left her family home. As time passes, the only joy she finds in her misery is the friendship of a Ute maiden by the name of Willow, and the help of two soldiers seeking shelter. These friendships will prove to be lifesavers for her, and for others.
This is an engaging story that brings Laura into the heart of the reader. She matures gracefully, despite the harsh environment and meagre living conditions. Her decision-making can be called into question after a family tragedy, or perhaps a relief might be a better term, but despite this the outcome of this young lady’s life is nothing short of admirable. I found it an unusual setting and the charm and gentleness that Laura exudes makes it a really enjoyable read. It is an easy read and I recommend this absorbing story. There is strong sexual content that some might find challenging, but the book is very worthy of being read.