"For Clara Bixby, brokering mail-order brides is a golden business opportunity--and a desperately needed chance to start again. If she can help New York women find husbands in a far-off Nebraska town, she can build an independent new life away from her own loss and grief. Clara's ambitions are shared by two other women, who are also willing to ...Read More"For Clara Bixby, brokering mail-order brides is a golden business opportunity--and a desperately needed chance to start again. If she can help New York women find husbands in a far-off Nebraska town, she can build an independent new life away from her own loss and grief. Clara's ambitions are shared by two other women, who are also willing to take any risk. Quiet immigrant Elsa hopes to escape her life of servitude and at last shape her own destiny. And Rowena, the willful, impoverished heiress, jumps at the chance to marry a humble stranger and repay a heartbreaking debt. All three struggle to find their true place in the world, leaving behind who they were in order to lay claim to the person they want to be. Along the way, each must face unexpected obstacles and dangerous choices, but they also help to forge a nation unlike any that came before. "--Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2012-08-27 The forlorn men of McNees's newest (after The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott) may be in need of wives, but this 19th-century Western drama features one too many. In the fall of 1866, Clara Bixby, recently relieved of her job at a Manhattan tavern, follows a newspaper article to Destination, Neb., a community "populated almost entirely by bachelors." Her aim: to secure her future by importing mail-order brides for the townsmen. Clara recruits Elsa Traugott, an immigrant laundress from Bavaria; and Rowena, an heiress widowed by the Civil War and fallen on hard times. Elsa is likeable, but Clara and Rowena immediately clash, and for good reason. Whatever empathy readers may feel for the whiny Rowena will likely be overwhelmed by how remarkably unlikeable she is. As a result of Clara's distaste for her, she sets up Rowena with a widower butcher and father of five "in desperate need of a wife." From there, each woman struggles to navigate her new life in the wake of war, far from home, and in the arms of unknown men. Agent: Marly Rusoff. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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