by J. L. Oakley
1907. Women climbing mountains in skirts. Loggers fighting for the eight hour day. The forests and mountains of the North Cascades are alive with progress, but not everyone is on board.
Caroline Symington comes from a prominent family in Portland, Oregon. Much to her family’s dismay, she’s more interested in hiking outdoors and exploring the freedoms of a 1907’s New Woman than fancy parties and money. She plans to marry on her own terms, not her parents. When she falls in love with Bob Alford, an enterprising working-class man who loves the outdoors as much as she, little does she know how sorely her theories will be tested. Betrayed by her jealous sister, Caroline elopes, a decision that causes her father to disown her.
The young couple moves to a rugged village in the North Cascade Mountains where Caroline begins a new life as the wife of a forest ranger. Though she loves her life in the mountains as a wife and mother, her isolation and the loss of her family is a challenge. As she searches for meaning among nature, she’s ushered along by a group of like-minded women and a mysterious, mountain man with a tragic past.
Eventually, her relationship with her mother and sister improves and things seem to be taking a turn for the better. That relationship is tested again when her uncle and her sister’s ruthless ex-husband muscle their way into the national forest, threatening the nature she loves, and more importantly, the man she loves. Though Caroline desires to reconcile with her family, she knows she must take a stand.
Timber Rose, the prequel to the award-winning Tree Soldier, is about gilded society, thugs and big timber meeting the newly formed Forest Service, mountaineering clubs and a young woman’s desire to make her own way in a changing world.
(480 pages; e-book $3.99 USD, paperback $16.19 USD)
Reviews of Timber Rose