Creede's kindness works its way through Laurels aloofness and they grow to care for one another. Their love is slow building and there is a lot that Laurel had to work though, but with Creede's constant, sometimes unwanted help, she did.
When Laurel delivered the first message in the book, before 15%, I cried. Reading about Laurel's journey and her delivering the messages to the families was difficult for me. Laurel and Creede, could have been a even better couple in the story if the story spent a little more time on their growing attraction and how they circled each other with caution before they finally came together physically. Some may find it boring to read about Laurel delivering the messages. This is a romance after all, and I personally would have liked to read more about Laurel and Creede's romantic relationship.
There was a lot of sadness in the book of course because of the subject matter but the two of them found each other in the end.
Laurel, a Civil War nurse, is contacting the families of expired patients and sharing their last words. Creed has lost his wife and his son, and so his reasons for living.
When we first meet Laurel, she is reaching the end of her mission, with only four or five families left to visit. The reader understands that she will have nothing left to live for. The heroine is very prickly, which might annoy some readers, but the author does a great job of explaining why--the heroine doesn't trust herself, and she's seen just about everyone she cares for die or abandon her. I recommend it to readers who like western romance and fiction with a medical theme.
Out of the hundreds of men she looked after, Civil War nurse and widow Laurel Covey has collected the wishes of 21 dying soldiers in a little black book. At the wars end with her Southern soldier husband dead, leaving Northerner Laurel estranged from her family, she sets off with her book and memories to visit the families of those soldiers. Now with his son dead, Creede has nowhere to go and nothing to live for. Throughout the book, Creede and Laurel struggle to find a reason to live after everything they love has died and watching death take innocent people time and again. Ultimately, McKades novel asks readers what they live for and reminds them of all the people who work daily to care for those whose reasons may seem to be dwindling. All of this and a love story too, what more can a reader ask?
While she abhors slavery, she remained loyal to her Southern husband and felt that nursing soldiers, most of whom had never owned a slave, was the right thing to do.
It is about 2 people making a journey quite figuratively and literally, and with each little stop, we and they learn something more, about each other and about life. We learn throughout her journey that she is actually so compassionate she is afraid to burst apart or break into pieces if she let her rigid self control go. In here she did something v admirable, helping some families find closure and be at peace, while also giving herself a purpose as well as a chance to atone for her perceived sin. People react differently to the situation and we also see how different situations impact the living, some not good but all none the less very real and genuine. It also really gives a very good picture of the civil war period and it really is heart breaking at times when you realise though the characters here are not really real, there must be thousands and thousands of families that were in similar circumstances at that time.
Maureen McKade has been making up stories since the moment she learned to read, write and string sentences together.