Of Dreams and Nightmares - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
"There will be no gala ball for you this year Martha, you are to be married to Jebediah Whitaker in a fortnight." John raised his voice interrupting Martha in mid sentence.
"Father, you are joking. But what kind of a silly thought has entered your head. I have no intentions of marrying anyone right now. Besides, Jebediah Whitaker has three children and is much too old for me." Martha stopped sipping her tea and stared over the rim of the cup at her father in disbelief. As an afterthought she added, "Plus, he is a pompus ass!"
Martha McGuire was the 18 year old daughter of John McGuire and the late Lillian McGuire. She, her father and their cook Emma lived in the home her grandfather had built fifty years before.. Graystone Manor. Having no mother around to guide her, Martha depended on Emma to teach her the running of the household. But she depended on her best friend Austin Wells for fun and entertainment. The two had grown up together and as children were always together getting themselves into more mischief than their parents could handle. But now, when she needed Austin the most, he was away at college and her father was demanding that she marry Jebediah Whitaker.
Jebediah's first wife had died several years before after falling down a flight of stairs leaving him to raise three sons alone. Martha would be the perfect wife. She was young, healthy and even with her high spirit, he would tame her. But there was one thing that very few people knew about Jebediah and that was the he would do anything to get and keep whatever he wanted, even if it was illegal.
After Jebediah took his sons and new wife Martha across the ocean to the Americas, John was presented with the truth of what a mistake he had made in forcing Martha to marry Jebediah. The only recourse he had was to employ Austin and Jebediah's brother Jeremy to find them and rescue her before it was too late.
Of Dreams and Nightmares is a book filled with history as well as being a wonderful story. Following Martha, Jebediah and his three sons as they cross the ocean and on to Wyoming was a wonderful adventure for me. As I read I could see the wagon trains as they proceeded west. I felt the cold as they lived in their small sod cabins. I experienced the pain as Jebediah broke Martha's spirit and will with by inflicting her with fear for not only her life but also the boys. And now I'm getting ready to continue this saga of the Whitaker family through Shirley A. Roe's next book The Whitaker Family Reunion.