Rated 5 stars ***** 2005. Gracelin O’Malley #3. New American Library (Penguin). 394 pp. (Includes “Conversation Guide” and “Questions for Discussion.”)
After spending time in Kansas and Oregon, always seeking Sean among Mormon travelers, Grace decides to go to San Francisco and marry Captain Reinders. She still loves Morgan, despite knowing he is dead and can never return to her, but knows her children need a father and a home.
After a rough journey she arrives to find the Captain and Liam are at sea, and has no choice but to hire herself out as cook to Doctor Wakefield and his invalid sister. The Doctor is very kind to her, Jack and Mary Kate but she misses Morgan and Sean. Grace is sure she will find Sean and is determined to make a life for herself and her children in the busy city of San Francisco. What she doesn’t know is that Sean is battling his own demons, and may not want to be found. In true Gracelin style, she sets about changing not only her own life but also those of everyone she encounters, as diabolical plots and secrets are revealed which will forever change her life and those she loves.
This third book in the Gracelin O’Malley series leaves no stones unturned in tying up every loose end for its beloved characters and in teaching readers about life in 1851 San Francisco after the fire. At that time San Francisco was filled with immigrants and gold miners, and much is learned about the various cultures in place at the time especially that of the Chinese. In addition, slavery and its repercussions are more fully explored as Grace lived in a time heading towards Civil War.
As a fan of history, and well-written historical fiction, I especially enjoyed this series. My only regret is that the most evil character in “‘Til Morning Light,” similar to Mr. Potter in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” did not get her final due.
Highly recommended for Adult readers.