Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness
by Beverly Scott
Word Project Press

"He was starting a new life. No one knew him here. He had no past, only present, and future."

What if your world was turned upside down because the person you loved and thought you knew kept a secret that could destroy you and your family? Sarah Martin is left confused by her husband's dying words, which in a state of delirium, seemed like he was having an argument with someone. Not thinking anything of it, she instead absorbs her mind with how she's going to raise five children on her own, with no income and in a town where a widow is not welcomed. Later on, when she applies for widow benefits, to support her children, she is denied. She recalls her husband's parting words and slowly peels back their life together for clues.

Scott imbues her main protagonist, Sarah Martin, with the enduring spirit of the American pioneer as she struggles to support her children. On top of wrestling with depression and grief from the loss of her husband and father, Sarah further struggles with anger and shame when the truth of why she will never receive her husband's pension is revealed. She manages against the odds by moving back to familiar territory and taking on the job of a teacher.

In addition to Scott's strong characterization, the author effortlessly transplants the reader in the turn of the 20th century of the American West through the eyes of Sarah Martin. It can be difficult to imagine living in a house without readily available water or electricity. A time when cars were a novelty for well-off people and travelers often relied on the hospitality of people for directions, food, drink, and shelter. Readers who want a glimpse into the life of a pioneer woman will take joy in Sarah's tale as they get a flavor for the hardships one takes on in a new territory.

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