A beautiful, masterly woven story... Born of Gilded Mountains by Amanda Dykes (Review) #bornongildedmountains #amandadykes #historicalfiction #historicalromance #inspirationalfiction #newbooks #bookx #austenprosepr #bhpfiction @AJDykes @Bethany_House @austenprose

Welcome to my tour stop with Austenprose! Read my review of this new release below...

Born of Gilded Mountains
By Amanda Dykes
Christian Historical Fiction, Epistolary
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 384 Pages
June 18, 2024 by Bethany House Publishers


When newcomer Mercy Windsor arrives in Mercy Peak in 1948 after a scandal shatters her gilded world as Hollywood's beloved leading lady, she is determined to forge a new life in obscurity in this time-forgotten Colorado haven. She purchases Wildwood--an abandoned estate with a haunting history--and begins to restore it to its former glory.

But as she does, her every move tugs at the threads of that mountain's lore, unearthing what became of her long-lost pen pal, Rusty Bright, and the whereabouts of the infamous Galloping Goose Engine No. 8, which vanished years ago, along with the mailbag it carried, whose contents could change the course of countless lives. Not to mention another fabled treasure that--if found--could right so many wrongs.

Among the towering mountains that stand as silent witnesses, the ghosts of the past entangle with the courage of the present to find a place where healing, friendship, and hope can abide amid a world forever changed.

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My Review

BORN OF GILDED MOUNTAINS is a lush, lyrical story about two pen pal girls who become the closest of friends through their letters. It's about loss, grief, hardship, betrayal, but also friendship, sacrifice, giving, faith and love. Set in a small town that is slowly dying while two friends search for a treasure that will offer a second chance for them, others and this town. A not-to-be-missed beautiful story for historical fiction fans.

It's been a while since I've read a story like this one. A story that needs to be read slowly through prose that is almost lyrical in nature with deep relationships and equally deep meaning. It's a story that digs down deep just as these characters must do the same as they face life in all its difficulties and complexities. I adored both Rusty and Mercy as well as this small town that knows and loves its own. I laughed so many times when reading these girls' letters and then experiencing the town with its quirky people. My heart was lifted even as it was also torn with heartbreak in places and then lifted again as the treasure was sought and even a greater treasure found. This one dragged out all the feels. I appreciated that the author didn't tell me how to think or force parts of this story, but instead let these characters fall and learn and, as a reader, allowed me to be fully immersed and draw my own pieces of wisdom as I journeyed with them.

Here are a few of the places that resonated with me:

"But then, something happened, right there in the dark, when not a soul in the universe knew where I was. I can't—I can't explain it, but it was so sudden, and so thick, and heavy, and warm, and good—it was simply . . . comfort. Peace. Like the God who made those mountains to begin with looked down at that avalanche and found me, wrapping me up, and wherever He was, the fear began to fade."

"Back in the war, we were up in the Dolomites, we were encamped in the middle of winter. I went to the stream to fill my canteen and slipped on a patch of ice. But I got up, filled my canteen at the stream, and caught my reflection as I stood back up. I looked cold and hard and empty. Tired. And not just from the war. For the rest of the day, I couldn't get the ice or the stream out of my head. Both water—but one harmed, while the other gave life. I thought of Cal, tromping through marshy land with bare feet. Would he want to be held in a cold, hard, unmoving place of ice? That was the home my heart was giving to his memory. I hated that. And I realized I had a choice in what sort of home my heart was. It could be a place of life and movement and hope, like that stream. Or I could carry on as I was, bitter and growing colder and harder by the day. Cal didn't deserve that."

In the end, was it what I wished for? I loved this story! Such a treasure and so many themes that resonated with me and would resonate differently with each reader. A masterly woven story of life, friendship and both lost and fulfilled dreams. Highly recommended!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Austenprose PR, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Amanda Dykes's debut novel, Whose Waves These Are, was the winner of the prestigious 2020 Christy Award Book of the Year, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, and the winner of an INSPY Award. She's also the author of All the Lost Places and Christy Award finalists Yours Is the Night and Set the Stars Alight. Find her online at AmandaDykes.com.

Have you read any of this author's other books? What interests you about this one?

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