The Practice House

Laura McNeal

31340847

Well-researched and well-written, this book came up short because of its dreary setting and impossible choices faced by its hero/heroine. Plucky Aldine McKenna leaves Scotland for America with her sister, a recent Mormon convert. Her sister goes off to live with her new husband, and Aldine answers an ad for a teacher in drought-ridden Kansas. Boarding with a local family, Aldine is smitten by her young pupil and taken by her charismatic, optimistic father, Ansel. She is not so smitten by the jealous wife and snippy older girl. There is also a love-struck young son.

I liked Aldine and Ansel, but couldn’t be drawn into their drama. Their lives seem doomed from the first, and I couldn’t see any happy ending possible. The book was a bit of a downer.

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