Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Book Review: An Uncertain Dream
Miller, Judith. 2008. An Uncertain Dream. (#3 in the Postcards from Pullman Series) Bethany House. 376 pages.
Angry shouts stopped Olivia Mott midstep.
The strike! The strike! The strike that got so much talk in the second novel, Whispers From The Rail, is finally here. The time? 1894. The place? Pullman, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois. Olivia, Fred, Charlotte their stories continue on in this third and final installment.
Olivia Mott, an assistant chef, has been courting (on and off) Fred DeVault, one of the leaders of the strike, for years--since she first arrived in America from England. With some complications I might add--her naivety, her lies, his stubbornness, his jealousy, his pride--not to mention the whole seeing other people thing. But now the impossible has happened: he's finally admitted (after 700 pages or so) that he wants to marry her! Will things be that simple after all?
Charlotte. The spoiled Lady Spencer whose reputation was shattered when she conceived a child out of wedlock. She's been to England (and back again) and now is living with her son, Morgan, in Chicago. Still staying with the ever-faithful Mrs. Priddle. Still working for Marshall Field. But now there's a man in the picture. The journalist Matthew Clayborn whom we first met when he was flirting with Olivia in the second book.
Love is definitely in the air in this final installment--even Mrs. DeVault, good-old-Fred's mother, finds love. Can you guess with who?
That's not to say An Uncertain Dream is all happy-and-gushy. There's plenty of hardships--not just convulluted episodes either--the strike, unemployment, tensions between the police (and army) with the strikers and innocent bystanders, women's rights, sexual harassment, hunger and poverty.