This book drew me in from the very first page. Set in 1905, the story is told from Sophie’s point of view – an Irish immigrant to the US who finds herself answering a mail-order bride ad to escape the poverty of the New York tenements. She marries her husband within minutes of meeting him and decides to accept his young daughter as if she were her own. Sophie tries to make the most of her unusual situation until the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 brings her world crumbling down (quite literally).
This is historical fiction at its best – a setting and time period that is unfamiliar but then immediately relatable, as well as characters that are lovably timeless. I loved how there were so many obstacles facing Sophie that she was able to overcome with true grit and a dose of compassion and honesty. There were also plenty of twists in the plot for me to feel as uneasy as Sophie when strange circumstances arose.
I’ll be recommending this book to fans of historical fiction or anyone who’s interested in an extremely well-told drama. I can’t wait to check out Susan Meissner’s other titles now!
*Free ARC provided by Netgalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review*