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Customer Reviews for Random House, Inc Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1

Random House, Inc Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1

The end of the American Civil War reopened the floodgates for humanity headed west. Men and women hungered for land and business opportunities to help them rebuild their Civil war-torn lives and families. Prairie Song chronicles the beginning of the overland journey for the westbound Boones Lick Road Company, a wagon train setting out from Saint Charles, Missouri in the spring of 1866. The captain of the caravan, Garrett Cowlishaw, lived through the war, while Caroline Milburn agonized at home, fearing that her missing husband was not destined to return. Trail hand Caleb Reger carries a crushing secret from the battlefield to the road west and Anna Goben knew she could lose her brother to the war, but hadn't imagined the ruin the loss could bring to her household. Encounter these few among the families and individuals, many from the Saint Charles Quilting Circle, who have set out looking for their Promised Land. On a road marked with more suffering, will they learn that the promise remains alive in their hearts, no matter the circumstances?
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Customer Reviews for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Review 1 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Post Civil War, Wagon Train West, Romance, Faith

Date:April 10, 2014
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Patsdream
Location:Huntsville, AL
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Anna steps into the church and asks for her groom to step outside. A few minutes later Boney tells the people that the wedding has been cancelled by mutual consent. Caleb Reger assumes the worst about Anna calling the wedding off minutes before the wedding. To make matters worse, Anna, her mother and grandfather will be leaving on the wagon train the next day. Of course, saying goodbye to all their friends, Anna and her friend are late joining the wagon train. Caleb is a trail hand and scout. Wouldn't you know it? He's the one that goes back to make sure they join the others.
Caleb discovers Anna's secret, Annas grandfather thrives on the work and companionship of the train. Not so much her mother. Her mother's grief over the loss of her husband and son (Boney's best friend) is hard for her to let go of. The trail brings dust, wind, Indians, illness, wagon wheels being stuck, people learning to lean on one another, faith that gets them through the rough times as well as the day to day living.
This story line takes up where The Quilted Heart leaves off. Part of the quilting circle leaves with the wagon train and others stay behind. I've read several books by Mona Hodgson and have enjoyed each one. This one is my favorite so far. I received this book from the author to read, review and leave an honest opinion. I loved the characters, there's not a lot of action but the storyline moves along and keeps you interested. Anna's faith helps her and romance finds Anna and some of the others on the wagon train. Join this group of characters and I don't think you will be disappointed. Even if you haven't read the novella on the Quilting Circle you can read this as a stand alone. Highly recommend this book.
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Review 2 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Great Adventure

Date:January 26, 2014
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Shelske
Location:Ypsilanti MI
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is Mona at her best. The characters from the novella the Quilted Heart continues in this title as they start the trip to CA on a wagon train. She keeps you involved with the characters from the novella & adds some others who blend in to make this a great adventure to read. I can't wait for the next title in this series. She weaves a wonderful story.
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Review 3 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wonderful reading

Date:January 21, 2014
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Barb
Location:Indianapolis. In.
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Mona Hodgson puts so much emotion in her stories. You can feel her sense of adventure!! She portrays her characters so strongly that you feel like you're there with them, can see how they look and react to all those emotions!!! In Prairie Song, Anne & Caleb a so interesting! I can hardly wait for Book 2!!!!
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Review 4 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 21, 2013
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debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Civil War has destroyed the Goben family's last hope, in the form of the death of Anna's brother, Dedrick. Leaving Missouri and her quilting circle will be hard; but as Anna's mother constantly grieves over her lost son, her drinking has gotten out of control, while Anna's grandfather has become a silent bag of bones. Anna's only hope in keeping the family together is to escort them to California, with the hope that the trip west will neither break them apart or kill them in the process.
Bones Lick Company wagon train is just the solution Anna is looking for. Caleb Reger is in charge of the safety of the travelers, and he plans on keeping his head down and minding his own business. He is guarding secrets about his past, and he is running away from God's will for his life. Caleb and Anna want avoid each other studiously, but circumstances do not permit such luxuries. Will roaming across the prairie break their spirit? Or will God's mercy sustain them all through the trials they are sure to face?
This novel was such a beautiful example of the human spirit and God's grace to all people throughout the ages. These people represent the indomitable spirit of immigrants everywhere, and the things they endured to make their dreams come true. The characters Hodgson portrays inspire you to believe that determination, constant prayer, and faith will see you through anything. A book well written, inspiring, and a recommend read for your fall must-read list.
This book was provided for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 5 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Terribly boring!

Date:October 22, 2013
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Mossy
Location:Louisville, KY
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I like most books about wagon trains. Most of them are exciting or at least interesting. Prairie Song was neither. Hardly anything interesting ever happened! I could not believe how boring this book was. I will not read anything by this author ever again!!!!!!
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Review 6 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Captivating Story with Engaging Characters

Date:September 20, 2013
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Britt98
Location:Grand Prairie, TX
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
From start to finish, Prairie Song captured my attention. Mona Hodgson has written a beautiful novel full of deep characters. This is the first book in the Hearts Seeking Home series. I definitely plan to read every book in this series. I was also happy to discover that there are three novellas that come before this book. I was perfectly able to follow the storyline without having read the novellas, however, I now plan to read those as well.
The author tackles deep issues in Prairie Song. Anna struggles to keep everything flowing smoothly for her family as they join a wagon train headed west. This is not an easy task. Anna's mother is mired in grief over the death of Anna's brother in the war. Anna takes on such a burden trying to handle all of the problems of her family. Will there ever be true love for her?
Many interesting stories unfold on this wagon train west. Secrets, misunderstandings and problems abound. There are those trying to overcome heartache from the past, one who feels incredible guilt over the result of decisions he made during the war, and secrets that will eventually be made known.
Mona Hodgson did an excellent job weaving these storylines together. Prairie Song is well-written and the characters feel so very real. It was a true joy to read.
I received a copy of Prairie Song for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
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Review 7 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

"Prairie Song" Review

Date:September 9, 2013
Customer Avatar
Shoopette
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I have read a lot of books about the Oregon/California Trail in my day. I really enjoy them – that’s why I keep reading them – and I always go into a series like this wondering what type of angle the author will take and what new things about life on the trail to the West I will learn.
This Trail novel didn’t really give me too much new information historically, even though it was well-written as far as the history and time period goes. What it really brought up more than the history of life on the trail was a depth of spiritual growth in the characters that I have found to be typical of this author.
So, instead of focusing entirely on trail life, Prairie Song focuses on the characters – and there are a lot of them! I would be lost if I hadn’t read the previous series of novellas that led up to it, the Quilted Heart novellas.
The stories of Garrett Cowlishaw and Caroline Milburn from the third novella in that series were also continued here in this novel. This ‘two stories in one’ of Anna/Caleb & Garrett/Caroline sometimes got to be a bit much, but I understand why this was done. Novels about life on the trail during this time period (1860s) can get a bit monotonous, so having four main characters kept things a little more interesting.
What I liked most about the characters was how they read the Bible and experienced tremendous growth throughout the novel. I especially related to Caleb’s experience of not feeling forgiven by God. He knew in his head and heart that he had been forgiven, but he didn’t always have the faith to believe it and live it. Anna also had some growing to do before she could give her heart to Caleb. She had been allowing her past experiences to rule her future instead of trusting in God to do so. It was so interesting to me how Anna kept trying to change her mother, who was an alcoholic, rather than trusting in God to change her mother as He saw fit. That part of the plot was unique and lent itself to some spiritual issues coming to the surface that I might not otherwise have thought about.
As far as the romances, the one between Garrett and Caroline progressed as I guessed it would – without too much fanfare. With Anna and Caleb, I was a little more interested in their relationship. There was a hint of the Big Misunderstanding plot device, but luckily it came from stubbornness on the part of one of the characters as opposed to a comedy of errors such as misplaced notes or some other such foolishness.
While there were some heartbreaking moments for these characters, they never were without hope, which kept the overall feel of the book from being depressing. Not everything that happens to these characters is completely wrapped up in this title, which is to be expected from a series.
I can’t necessarily say that this Oregon/California Trail book sets itself apart too much from other ones that I have read other than the spiritual depth that was portrayed, but it was still a good novel, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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Review 8 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Wagon Train, Action Adventure and Romance

Date:September 2, 2013
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VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Mona Hodgson in her new book, “Prairie Song” Book One in the Hearts Seeking Home series published by WaterBrook Press brings us into the life of Anna Goben.
From the back cover: The first step in a challenging journey is often the one that means the most.
Though it means saying goodbye to the beloved friends and spiritual mentors of her St. Charles, Missouri quilting circle, Anna Goben is certain that she needs to enlist her family in the Boones Lick Company wagon train. The loss of her beloved brother in the Civil War has paralyzed her mother and grandfather in a malaise of grief and depression and Anna is convinced that only a fresh start in the Promised Land of California can bring her family back to her. Although the unknown perils of the trail west loom, Anna’s commitment to caring for her loved ones leaves no room for fear—or even loving someone new.
During the five-month journey, trail hand Caleb Reger plans to keep a low profile as he watches over the band of travelers. Guarding secrets about his past and avoiding God’s calling on his life, Caleb wants to steer as far from Anna as she does him, but she proves to be just as he assessed her from the beginning— independent, beautiful trouble.
Led by a pillar of hope, the group faces rough terrain that begins to take a toll on their spirits. Will the wilderness of suffering lead them astray, or will the gentle song of love that echoes across the prairie turn their hearts toward God’s grace and the promise of a new home?
I used to watch the old series, “Wagon Train” and, obviously, liked it a lot. So when Mona Hodgson wants to take us on a trek West on a wagon train I am all eager to sign up for the five month trip. The ride is going to be hard and bumpy but the fellow travelers are going to make it all worth while. Ms. Hodgson does a wonderful job of showing us how The Civil War and her brother’s death affected Anna and her family. The strength of purpose she shows in trying to keep her family together is so well crafted. And, of course, Caleb Reger is just a pleasure to learn about and watch how he relates with Anna. ”Prairie Song” is more than just a great romance Ms. Hodgson gives us some excitement and adventure in this story as well. Ms. Hodgson gets us caught up in the story and the characters to the point that we actually hate to say goodbye to them when the book ends. I am so looking forward to book two in the new exciting series from this very talented author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Press for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 9 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

New beginnings and dreams fulfilled

Date:August 7, 2013
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Paula Osborne
Location:Ga
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
We find Anna getting dressed for her wedding to Boney at the beginning of this new series by Mona Hodgson "Prairie Song" book #1
soon Mama comes in to take the very nervous daughter downstairs, but..Anna is having second thoughts, her stomach feels like there is a herd of elephants roaming around in it..can she marry her friend without the passion she longs for?
When Boney sees her at the doorway he loses his breath at the sight of his lovely Anna but he also sees the nervousness in her eyes and she beckons him to come to her, he knows there is a problem. They step outside to talk and when he returns all he says to the group gathered to view a wedding..."Thank you for coming to share in our merriment but Anna and I have decided NOT to wed at this time".
There are many things to learn in reading this story Mona Hodgson has for us, #1 would be Not to marry in haste.
The wagon train will soon depart and Anna wonders if she will be able to find the friendship with Boney they had, after refusing to marry him. She has other things to be concerned about also as her Mother has began drinking to excess since the loss of her beloved son, those on the wagon train must not know of this.
Many folks started on this journey to have a new beginning and Anna's family is among them. Caleb Reger, guarding secrets from his past plans to stay far away from Anna as he feels she has done Boney wrong.
Led by a pillar of Hope this group will face many dangers and rough terrain that will take its toil on the group.
New friendships will be made along the way,Caleb seems to run into Anna at every turn and soon they too find a closeness that no one would have thought would come between them.
Unexpected things along the way will make the group stronger as they go from day to day walking along their wagons as they make little progress as each day rolls into another and the months and the changing scenes knit them into a family of sorts.
You will want to read this new series Hearts Seeking Home by Mona Hodgson soon as it now available to the public...grab your book #1 Prairie Song and settle back for a yarn you won't want to end and will be yearning for the next book to make its debut too.
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Review 10 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Story

Date:August 6, 2013
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deanna13
Location:Jonesboro, LA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson is a very well written Christian, historical romance and most of the story takes place as a wagon train travels west. Anna Coben lost her brother in the Civil War and the loss has pushed her mother and grandfather into a state of depression and grief and Anna feels that a change will help them. Because of this, she decides to leave all her friends in the St. Charles, Missouri quilting circle and travel by wagon train to California. Caleb Reger has secrets from his past and he hopes that doing his job on the wagon train will help him forget. Above all he wants to avoid Anna for he feels that not only is she beautiful but that she is trouble. The wagon train is made up of a very diverse group of people but during the five months of traveling, they begin to work together for the good of the entire group. There are many problems along the way such as petty thefts, damage to wagons, sickness, and even death. The thefts are never solved and hopefully they will be in the second book of the series.
The author did an excellent job in the development of every element in this story. She grabbed my attention on the first page and held it until the last page. The characters were so realistic that I felt as if they were close friends. In my mind’s eye, I could see myself walking along beside one of the wagons for the author made everything in the wagon train come alive. I could even feel the aches and pains of the people walking beside the wagons or riding on them. Descriptions of the scenery seen along the trail were so realistic that in my mind I could see wagons and people, hear the noises made by the animals and even smell the food when it was cooking. There was some suspense in the story and the plot line had a few twists and turns that added to my enjoyment of the book. The way that the author portrayed the problems of Caleb’s past and Anna’s sorrow were well written and showed the forgiving and comforting love of God. I greatly enjoyed every word of the story and liked the ending. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series so that I can continue the journey with all the characters.
The following links to resources related to this book are included here for any reader that is interested.
For interesting inside information about the author’s way of writing you can check out her website.
This site will provide more information about the book and the publisher.
To learn more about the author, read her bio.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes a Christian, historical romance that takes place in the nineteenth century during the westward expansion of America.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers through their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 11 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Post-War Transitions

Date:August 5, 2013
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Nancee
Location:Grand Rapids, Michigan
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The year is 1866 and the Civil War battles have ended but the anguish over lost loved ones has not yet faded. Several St. Charles, Missouri families seek new beginnings by joining a wagon train bound for California. Seeking new opportunities provides hope for a future of promise and purpose. A number of plots and subplots run throughout this story of trials and hope, and numerous lives are blended in the quest for fresh beginnings. The main characters have been introduced in prequels to this story. In order to adequately understand the characters in this book, it would be helpful to read those prequels. Numerous topics are broached, including grief, alcoholism, family dynamics and secrecy. Faith in God, hope, trust and love become the catalysts toward becoming a team of travelers. Leaving everything behind in the quest for a better future also carries an abundance of adversity and stress.
The author has written a comprehensive story of relationships through difficult circumstances. These relationships play adominant role in this story of challenge and misfortune. There are several families of differing ethnicities, which bring about challenges in their own right. The changing scenery is pictorial and descriptive. I had some difficulty keeping all of the characters straight, and had to backtrack a few times, but overall this book is well written, and recreates an adventurous wagon trail experience familiar to many.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Random House, Inc. through the Blogging For Books program for the express purpose of my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
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Review 12 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Prairie Song

Date:August 5, 2013
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joeym11
Location:Indiana
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I really loved the story., but be prepared to have the time because you wont want to put it down. Story is of Anna Goben who wants to move her family in a wagon train to a better place to live. After the death of her brother in the war and grandfather not in good health thinks they can do better to leave and start a new life. I feel in love with the different characters and of course Boney. Story of friends and hard times. Of course I love the romance. Also I loved how God is in the book. I think God has a lesson for them all to learn. A great adventure in a time of the pass. I know you all will enjoy it. Another great book by Mona.
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Review 13 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A GREAT READ!

Date:August 5, 2013
Customer Avatar
My Book Addiction
Location:North Carolina
Age:55-65
Gender:female
PRAIRIE SONG by Mona Hodgson is an exciting inspirational American Frontier Historical Fiction set in 1866 St. Charles, Missouri to Sacramento, California on a wagon train. #1 in a new series, "Hearts Seeking Home" oh and what a beginning! Join, Anna Goben,and Caleb Reger, and a cast of characters, as they travel on the Boone's Lick Company Wagon Train, from Missouri to California. Anna was supposed to marry her brother's friend,Boney,but at the last minute something happens that changes everything.....Anna marries Caleb Reger,the wagon train's trail hand. Anna's need to care for those around her is overwhelming. Her brother was killed in the Civil War, her mother and grandfather is paralyzed with grief and is depression. Anna believes a fresh start to the Promised Land in California will bring new life to her beloved family. Now committed to a new life as a married woman to a man she doesn't know, Caleb, can she care for someone else so deeply. Filled with beautiful scenery, trouble,secrets, danger,fear,faith, the perils of a wagon train,a new beginning,second chances,and love. What an amazing story of healing,forgiveness,hope,God's grace and the promise of a new life and a new home. I can hardly wait to see what is next for the "Hearts Seeking Home" series. Well written with engaging,charming and enduring characters as well as a interesting and intriguing storyline. Ms. Hodgson is a wonderful storyteller who draws the reader into her stories and holds them there. Her characters are realistic with their own trials,tribulations,hopes and dreams for a future with love and happy endings. A must read for any historical readers as well as American Frontier readers who enjoy a great story. We received an ARC for an honest review from the publisher.
RATING: 4.5
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
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Review 14 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Enjoyable historical fiction

Date:August 4, 2013
Customer Avatar
C Rogers
Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson is the first book in the Hearts Seeking Home series. This historical novel is set in 1866, immediately after the Civil War. Anna Goben, her mother, and her grandfather are devastated after the loss of Anna's brother in the Civil War. Anna decides that the best choice for them all is to join a wagon train and head toward California for a new start. Anna doesn't anticipate the difficulties she and her family will have as they travel West and the ways she will grow and change throughout her journey. She also isn't expecting the complication of Caleb Reger - a hand on the Boone's Lick Company Wagon Train.
I enjoyed this novel as I typically like historical fiction novels. The characters in the novel are dealing with many issues in their past as they look forward and try to begin anew. Love, loss, tragedy, and joy are all parts of their lives as they travel across the rural landscape. I feel the book does a good job of explaining and depicting what life would have been like on a journey like this one. I do feel that there are references to characters and situations from previous books, so I think reading some of the previous related books might clarify some of this information. I would definitely recommend this book if you like historical fiction novels!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review; all opinions are my own.
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Review 15 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Prairie Song Liked It with Reservations

Date:July 27, 2013
Customer Avatar
tickmenot
Location:Kansas City
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This is a tale about a group of people who leave St. Charles, Missouri, in wagon trains to go to California. The story takes place shortly after the Civil War.
The book mainly focuses on two characters. The first is eighteen-year-old Anna Goben who, along with her mother, Wilma, live with her grandfather. Since the war death of her brother, Dedrick, her mother has become an alcoholic, and the zest for living has left her grandfather. Anna’s hat and candle making business has been the only income keeping the family afloat. Anna has been pushing for her family to join the wagon train, and make a fresh start in the west. Anna is very hopeful the trip, and a new place to live, will help her mother overcome her alcoholism as well.
Young war widow, Caroline Milburn, also a friend of Anna, would like a new start, too. She has been unhappily living with her sister and her surely, alcoholic brother-in-law. All women on the wagon train must have a man in the party, so Caroline agrees to be a nanny to a family she doesn't know in order to join the wagon train.
Although it is hard for everyone to leave their friends and relatives, the wagon train sets off west. Anna is constantly on guard to keep liquor away from her mother, and check for hiding spots she might keep it in. Despite that, her mother becomes drunk and almost drowns Anna and herself, along with two wagon train workers, when she falls into the river. The head of the wagon train threatens to kick the entire family out of the wagon train if Wilma has any more incidents with liquor. Anna is devastated by her mother's actions, and exhausted from trying to carrying Wilma's burden of addiction for her.
Along the way, the people in the wagon train experiences adventure, hardships of the trip, some mysterious thefts, illnesses, false accusations and romance.
I really liked how this author writes. This book is well written, the characters are believable and the reader is immediately drawn into the story. However, I truly felt like I was reading a book that was at least book two in a series. There were characters and events referred to that weren't part of this story, so it made me feel like I was left out of the loop.
Upon investigating, I found there was another book series this author has written. That series had some of these characters, so I must assume incidents and characters in that other series are where references in this book come from. I really believe this should be book four in that other series, instead of book one in a new series.
The ending in this book didn't wrap up a lot of the story lines going on. Some came to a conclusion, but other didn't, including the fact that the wagon train has only made it as far as Nebraska on their California trek. The reader is left to wonder about the unanswered questions. I loved the book, what there was of it. But because of incomplete story lines at the end, and confusing references throughout the tale, I can only give this book 3 stars.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner.
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Review 16 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great read!

Date:July 25, 2013
Customer Avatar
gatorade635
Location:Midland, PA
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
After the extremely unfinished feel of the third prequel novella, Ripples Along the Shore, I was quite anxious to get to this book and see how the stories would play out. Though I was kinda sad that Boney and Anna didn't end up together I had kinda figured it out already since Boney is also a character in Mona's previous series The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek which is set many years down the road from this series. That being said I really enjoyed watching Caleb and Anna's relationship grow from mutual dislike based on misconceptions to a beautiful romance. I was also happy that we got to read the rest of Caroline and Garrett's story! The setting of a wagon train was really fun and it was well executed. It was especially entertaining for me because as a child all of my attempts at writing a story ended up being about people heading west. Overall I really enjoyed this story and it just might be my favorite of this author's! Looking forward to book two!
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 17 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Wagons, Ho!

Date:July 21, 2013
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Andrea Cox
Location:Texas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Covered wagons.
The hard trail west.
The great unknown.
When I was in 5th grade, I played a computer game called either “Wagons West!” or “Oregon Trail!” (or a mix of both; I really can’t remember.) That game about traveling on the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon was so much fun, I became fascinated with covered wagons and the historical journey west.
Knowing that about myself, it’s no wonder historical fiction books appeal to me. Recently, I was able to read an advanced reader copy of a book that takes place on the trail west. (Yes, it features covered wagons!)
Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson is about a journey west that will change the lives of the folks traveling west with the Boone’s Lick Company Wagon Train. Trail hand Caleb Reger bears secrets that keep him from settling down or releasing his heart to be loved again. Anna Goben’s got secrets of her own, which may jeopardize the adventure that awaits her, even as she tries to protect those she loves. Garrett Cowlishaw leads this company with a bravery Caroline Milburn is hesitant to admire. When trials occur on the trail before them, will these four—and the people they’re traveling with—find the courage to carry on? Or will they turn back, being labeled “go-backers”? Will the secrets they hold within cause more trouble and prevent them from fully enjoying the blessings of a fresh start?
Well written with spunk and historical facts, Mona Hodgson’s Prairie Song is a must-read. Without books like this one, the thrill of the old journey west will one day be forgotten. Thankfully, authors like Mona pen stories that are sure to inspire many generations to come with the adventures their ancestors experienced.
There’s a great take-away for readers in this book. Caleb feels God is being silent. At one point, Garrett asks him, “Don’t you agree that God’s truth can prepare our hearts and bolster our spirits?” (page 64) Not only are these words meant to encourage Caleb, but the reader may also find in them the strength to carry on. Life is tough and harsh at times. Wouldn’t it be nice to have God’s truth prepare your heart for those difficult moments? I know I’m relieved when His Word bolsters my spirit! It might not change the hard circumstance, but God’s companionship will help you through it.
Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson comes to a bookstore near you on August 6, 2013. Be sure to mark your calendars, folks. Especially if you like a little old-fashioned adventure!
Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah for my copy of Prairie Song to review.
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Review 18 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

This would be an interesting trip west

Date:July 16, 2013
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wfnren
Location:St Cloud, FL
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Anna Goben not only lost her brother to the Civil War, but she lost her Mother and Grandfather too. Wilma turned to alcohol after learning of her sons death and Anna's grandfather was lost in a malaise of grief and depression. Anna comes up with the idea to leave St Charles, MO and relocate to California. Wilma and Otto agree to go with the Boone's Lick Company Wagon Train, they won't go alone though, several of Anna's friends from her quilting club are going along while some are staying in St Charles.
Things get started on the wrong foot as Anna had agreed to marry Boney, her brothers best friend from childhood, but as everyone is waiting for the wedding to start she motions him to the back of the church and tells him that she can't marry him. Being the good person he is, he accepted that and informed all of the guests that the wedding is being called off. Now she just has to face her Mother and Grandfather.
Boney is employed by the Boone's Lick Company Wagon Train and several of his co-workers were at the wedding so they now have ill feelings toward Anna, letting her know their feelings later that day when she went to talk to her friends at the dry goods store and explain her decision. Not only will this cause problems on the trip, the men taking the wagon train west decide that women should not be traveling with them, it seems like the trip is encountering nothing but problems.
I enjoyed the book but I thought it moved along kind of slowly, I did like the stories attached to each character and how they dealt with their individual problems though. I will read the next book, no title yet that I have found or when it will be published, as I am interested in what is in store for everyone.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BloggingforBooks.org <http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 19 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 15, 2013
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SallyinWNY
Location:western NY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Mona Hodgson’s newest series, Hearts Seeking Home, tells the story of a wagon train heading west. It kicks off with Prairie Song which details the train’s departure from Saint Charles, Missouri and the first part of the land crossing. The majority of the characters and their stories were introduced in Hodgson’s recent Quilted Heart e-book trilogy. Since this book leads off directly from those titles, I definitely recommend reading those first if you can. Each is a novella, so they don’t take too long to get through.
It is 1866, and just one year after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Civil War tensions still run high. Several of the pioneers lost family members fighting for the Union, a former Confederate soldier is their guide, and one of the trail hands is a former slave. Men, women and children of differing ages, nationalities, and abilities have to pull together if they’re to make it to California. The perils of the trail vary from bad cooking to dangerous wildlife. When personal items go missing there’s plenty of suspicion to go around.
Once again, Mona Hodgson has written an historical gem with plenty of individual and engaging characters. In Prairie Song, she allows us to imagine what the journey was like for those brave spirits who left behind their comfortable and familiar lives in search of something better. Nor does she shy away from the harsher elements of being part of such a trek. This is only the beginning, however, and the end of the book sees the group reaching Fort Kearney in Nebraska. There is still a long way to travel. Mountain Whispers is the next in the series, which presumably sees the train traversing the Colorado Rockies. The date of its publication is currently unknown.
Thank you to Waterbrook Press for my free Advance Reader Copy of Prairie Song. I was not obligated to write a review.
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Review 20 for Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 15, 2013
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson is the first book in the Hearts Seeking Home series. It's the continuing story from the novellas in the Quilted Hearts trilogy. I really liked this story. I loved the characters and finding out what it was like traveling in a wagon train. I can't wait to read the rest of the books!!
Ever since Anna Goben's brother, Dedrick, died in the Civil War, her family has fallen apart. Her grandfather can barely make chairs anymore and her mother turned to drink to drown out the pain. Anna has done her best to shield her mother from gossips and to keep her family afloat by making and selling hats and candles. But then she hears about the Boone Lick Wagon Train going west to California. She convinces her family to join and off they go for a new start in life. Anna hopes and prays the journey will help her mother stop drinking and get a new lease on life, but what if she never changes? Will Anna ever be able to have a life and family of her own?
Caleb Reger is a trail hand for the wagon train. He is intrigued with Anna, but since they got off on the wrong foot he isn't sure if they will ever get along. Guilt-ridden and haunted by his past, Caleb feels unworthy of anyone's love especially sweet Anna. As the journey progresses they get to know each other and loves starts to awaken between them. Will Anna forgive him his past? Or will he be destined to live his life alone?
This book never once got boring. I loved how most of the characters from the previous series where in the story. It was cool to still see glimpses of their lives. :-) Plus, I love learning how people did things back then! So fascinating. It was a satisfying story with a great conclusion, and I can't wait to read more from this series!
*I was given an advanced reading copy of this book from the author with no obligation to write a review.*
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