The Calling Birds*
Will She Be Able to Stop Running?
Birdie has been on the run for a long time, sister to notorious thieves. People threaten her because they believe she knows where her brothers’ gold is. After closing down a shop that makes use of her dressmaking skills, she decides to become a part of a group of women going to a remote town in Colorado to become mail-order brides. Jack is her intended, and he runs a freight business in town with his grandpa, Gus. Jack lost his leg during the Civil War and has a complicated past with women. As Birdie is still on the run, she isn’t pleased that an infamous lawman is a part of this town, so she considers leaving, not marrying Jack.
Birdie spends much of the book trying to figure out if she’s going to stay or run. I like Gus as a character. He is a good-hearted older man who is starting to have troubles with dementia. Jack is doing his best to keep his business together and his grandfather in line. He has a lot of insecurities about himself as a man and marrying again. Much of the story is about these three people who are more vulnerable than they like or would appear. Will they be able to find strength together that they lack apart?
I felt like this book needed more conflict. The author set up the possibility of conflict with the troubles from Birdie’s past, but that didn’t really come into play until much later in the novel. The pacing felt slow; I felt like I was just waiting for something to happen.