Review – One Step Enough by Carla Kelly

About the Book:

How does life go on in the aftermath of tragedy?
If it were possible for two lovers to deserve peace, Owen and Della Davis should have been the happiest couple in Utah. But after the shocking deaths of two hundred friends and miners and the dispersal of their widows and children, happiness is hard to come by.
Owen has promised Della he is through with mining forever, but he still has to earn a living, and his heart is drawn back to the mines. Meanwhile, Della is wishing for a baby, but her arms remain empty. As she struggles to hold together the pieces of her life—through the resurfacing haunting memories of her father’s death and the heartache of missing a mother she never knew—she wonders if she even wants to reconcile herself to relatives who did her so much harm. Together, Owen and Della must face the secrets of her past as they struggle to build their future.
Based on the true events following the Scofield mine disaster in 1900, One Step Enough is a riveting and heartfelt romance filled with suspense, tragedy, and hard-earned love.

About the previous book, My Loving Vigil Keeping:

Della’s giving up all the comforts of bustling Salt Lake City to teach school in a rural coal mining camp. Little does she know, she may soon be giving up her heart as well. But when tragedy strikes in the Scofield Mine, Della’s life is changed forever. Based on true events, this thrilling new romance from award-winning and bestselling author Carla Kelly is a must-read!

Click on titles below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                          My Loving Vigil Keeping
One Step Enough

My Review:                   

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Newlyweds Owen and Della Davis are struggling to deal with the pain and grief of losing two hundred friends and comrades in a mining accident in their close knit community.  Owen, a miner himself, only survived by making a last minute choice to leave mining behind, and quit just before he was about to walk into his shift when the disaster happened.  Della begged Owen to promise never to return to mining, and he agreed, even though mining is in his blood.  The accident changed both of them, and stole some of the joy from their new marriage.  Owen, always a beautiful singer, has lost all his will to sing and suffers survivor’s guilt.  Della is also starting to have flashbacks to the day her own father died in a mining accident, and the cruel last words she said to him give her nightmares.

When they leave the Winter Quarters camp to begin a new life, Della’s honorary Uncle Jesse is extremely generous in helping them find a home and part time employment for Owen.  They begin to settle in, looking to be on their way to building a happy future together with Owen’s young daughter from his late first wife.  Then Uncle Jesse, who is a very wealthy man, begs Owen’s help with his own mine, which recently also suffered an accident.  Owen feels compelled to accept the job, both for the high pay, and for the chance to build a safer mine to prevent future deaths.  Though he regrets breaking the promise he made to his wife, he agrees to take on the job, leaving Della heartbroken.

Owen and Della are strong and compelling characters.  Owen is dedicated to his family, loved his first wife dearly, and was shattered when she died giving birth to their child.  Though it had been six years, and Owen felt an immediate liking for Della, he had to struggle to let go, and even think of a new life.  He’s a charming, yet intelligent and hard working man.  Della chose to become a teacher in a mining town, anxious to get away from her uncle and his family, who gave her a place to live when her father was killed, but never loved or nurtured  her.  She didn’t let their scorn turn her bitter, but showered her pupils with attention and care. Owen and Della’s slow developing romance is beautifully told in the book previous to this, MY LOVING VIGIL KEEPING, and I strongly recommend reading it first to appreciate the full blossoming of their love, and all the circumstances that led them to the place they are now.

In ONE STEP ENOUGH, Owen and Della have a tremendous amount of pain and baggage to deal with.  Author Carla Kelly has written characters who are very human – good people who have failings as we all do, and situations that aren’t completely black or white, right or wrong.  I became invested in this couple over the course of the two books, and felt all their heartaches along with them.  MY LOVING VIGIL KEEPING and ONE STEP ENOUGH tell a beautiful love story, but also show how resilient, forgiving, and strong we can truly be.  The history of life in a mining town is fascinating and tragic, and faith plays a strong part in carrying these families through the worst times imaginable.  I found both books to be brilliantly written, compelling, emotional, poignant, and, quite frankly, some of the best I’ve read – ever.   ~Rose

       

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