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Cannonball Read 2 #47: Calico Palace by Gwen Bristow

After reading all those very heavy non-fiction war books, I felt like I could use a little break. I needed something fluffy and simple to relax my poor over-extended brain, so I picked up Calico Palace by Gwen Bristow. It's an historical fiction romance, much like Bristow's other book, The Jubilee Trail (one of my favorite no-brainer romances.)

In the Calico Palace, young Kendra ends up on the west coast of the USA during the mid-nineteenth century, just in time to be involved in the 1849 gold rush. This is the story of her and her friends (including Marny, an independent woman who runs a gambling parlor) and their struggle to thrive in the newly settled wilderness as gold fever takes hold. The characters are met by a variety of obstacles, including abandonment, disease, weather, fire, and human nature. They all manage to overcome and end up more or less happily ever after.

To be honest, it's almost the same basic plot and character types as The Jubilee Trail, though I found it a little less enchanting. On the whole, it's a very sweet book with some interesting historical context.

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