What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Million 1857?
2543. Pay unmistakable respect to ladies everywhere.
It’s been over a year of workshopping and editing, rewriting and checking again, but Timber Rose is now out. It’s been labor of love and sometimes a labor as it comes to publication. (I should be an old hand at this, but there were complications) In the end, though, I’m quite pleased about it.
Love and Marriage at the Beginning of the 20th century
Initially, I set out to write about what it might have been like to be a couple in 1907. A book entitled What Every Young Wife Ought to Know by Emma F. Angell Drake, published in 1908, started me on a quest to answer this question. The book held little help for a young newlywed, even though sex is in the subtitle A similar book published for the young husband had a lot more information. What’s up with that?
Soon, however, the novel evolved into a prequel to my first novel, Tree Soldier. Bob and Caroline Alford, the parents of naturalist and woodswoman Kate, became the couple. With only a small backstory of how they met, soon I was exploring early communities on the east side of Lake Washington, the real communities that inspired my fiction town of Frazier in the North Cascades, the early days of the Forest Service and the mountaineering clubs of Washington state. It turned out to a fascinating time with women going for the vote, reforms in the woods and progressive movements to preserve and enjoy the wilderness. I especially enjoyed the enthusiasm of women members of the hiking clubs, adventurers all. Here is the flap copy for Timber Rose:
1907. Women climbing mountains in skirts. Loggers fighting for the eight hour day. The forests and mountains of the North Cascades are alive with progress, but not everyone is on board.
Caroline Symington comes from a prominent family in Portland, Oregon. Much to her family’s dismay, she’s more interested in hiking outdoors and exploring the freedoms of a 1907’s New Woman than fancy parties and money. She plans to marry on her own terms, not her parents. When she falls in love with Bob Alford, an enterprising working-class man who loves the outdoors as much as she, little does she know how sorely her theories will be tested. Betrayed by her jealous sister, Caroline elopes, a decision that causes her father to disown her.
The young couple moves to a rugged village in the North Cascade Mountains where Caroline begins a new life as the wife of a forest ranger. Though she loves her life in the mountains as a wife and mother, her isolation and the loss of her family is a challenge. As she searches for meaning among nature, she’s ushered along by a group of like-minded women and a mysterious, mountain man with a tragic past.
Eventually, her relationship with her mother and sister improves and things seem to be taking a turn for the better. That relationship is tested again when her uncle and her sister’s ruthless ex-husband muscle their way into the national forest, threatening the nature she loves, and more importantly, the man she loves. Though Caroline desires to reconcile with her family, she knows she must take a stand.
TIMBER ROSE is about gilded society, thugs and big timber meeting the newly formed Forest Service, mountaineering clubs and a young woman’s desire to make her own way in a changing world.
Currently, the novel is available at Createspace and Amazon. Soon on Kindle and eventually an audiobook. Hope you enjoy it.