Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mary's Blessing by Lena Nelson Dooley - Review of the second book in McKenna's Daughters series

Mary Lenora Murray had loving parents but a very hard life. She knew that she was adopted but didn't know who her mother and father were or why they gave her away, she did know though that she was loved by her adopted parents. Mary had two older sisters, a younger sister and two younger brothers. Her mother and two older sisters died from cholera when she was eleven so she had to grow up fast and at a young age. Once her mother had died Mary had to take care of her father and siblings, her father was never the same and life was changed.

Daniel Winthrop came west in the same wagon train that Mary's family was in so they knew each other their whole lives, Daniel is 20 and Mary will soon be 18. Daniel gets permission from Kenneth, Mary's dad, to court Mary. After a short time he takes Mary on a Friday Surprise trip to Portland and when they return they find Kenneth laying in the field with a terrible cut on his leg. When they get him to the doctor, the doctor doesn't even know if he'll make it and if he does they might have to amputate his leg.

As Mary is caring for her father Daniel is falling deeper in love and has their future all planned out, Mary doesn't like what he plans so they have an argument and Daniel leaves in a huff. He is supposed to return so he can take her home to bathe, see her siblings and then return her to the doctor's office, but he never returns.

WOW! Mary's story is one that tears at your heart. She takes everything that is handed to her, and it's a lot, but keeps on going and giving her best for her family. She shows such strength for having to take over a household at such a young age with no resentment or anger. Sometimes maybe a little wishful thinking for some time for herself, but she pulls herself together and continues on with the life that she's been given.

I'm so glad I have the third book, "Catherine's Pursuit", so I can get started on it right now. All I can say is that if you get "Maggie's Journey" you might as well get the other two at the same time, that's what I did and I'm really glad.


  1. Sounds like a good book and I enjoy this time period so much. Mary sounds like a strong person. I think adoption would be hard to write, but it appears she's done a beautiful job of it.

  2. What you can't see in a review like this is how perfectly Lena Nelson Dooley knows the era in which she writes. The setting, costume, and customs contribute to a totally believeable story. By all means, buy all three in this series. They are independent yet interwoven. She writes so well.

  3. Thank you, Lee. And Diane, I've heard from both adoptees and adoptive parents, and they loved the stores.