Sunday, May 03, 2009

42. The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook

Book Around the States
New Mexico

"In the 1890s, Hannah Bass, a Harvey girl working a remote hotel in New Mexico meets, and then marries, a famous surveying engineer for the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, a man patterned after William Raymond Morley, the discoverer of Glorieta Pass. The political conflicts of pre-statehood New Mexico, the ever-expanding Santa Fe, and the disappearance of Hannah's husband all weave into a story in the present day, involving Hannah's granddaughter and her discovery of a legendary, long-missing journal written by Hannah. " Alexander Craghead, Review posted on Amazon

I'm cheating again with someone else's review, but it was so nice and succinct. And it was not as easy for me to summarize the book. I did enjoy the historical aspects of this novel and the facts about that part of New Mexico, a state I have never visited. The characters were not as easy to like. Meg, the great-granddaughter, lives her life by reacting against the dictates of her domineering grandmother, Bassie, Hannah's daughter, who first published the journals. Their fights and tirades were tedious. However, a mystery is uncovered when a man's bones are excavated at the site where Bassie's dog was supposed to have been buried. Discovering who that man is and what really happened to him was a very compelling component of this book. I also enjoyed Crook's writing style which made the characters and scenery come alive.

Rating: 4


  1. How many states do you have left to visit?

  2. Sounds interesting ... too bad it was so hard to like the characters!