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November 9, 2022

The Fifth Daughter of Thorn Ranch by Julia Brewer Daily ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Fate had not smiled on her yet
Could she shoot this man?
She’d never killed anyone before.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.
book cover of women's fiction novel The Fifth Daughter of Thorn Ranch by Julia Brewer Daily
October 2022; Admission Press; 978-1955836111
ebook, print (322 pages); women's fiction

This beautiful written new novel takes place in Texas.  Thorn Ranch is the largest ranch in Texas and has been handed down from mother to daughter for five generations.  Emma is in her 20s - she loves the ranch and knows that someday she'll own it.  She's just found out that her boyfriend is more in love with the idea of owning the ranch than he is in love with her.  She decides to ride her favorite horse out on the land and sleep under the stars for a few days.  A heavy storm causes her to take shelter in a cave and the rapidly rising water of a nearby river make her go further into the cave where she finds a secret that will totally change her life.  The people she finds living on her property do not want her to leave and tell the world about their presence on the farm.  She has to make a decision whether to try to escape and go back to her family or stay in the new world with people that she's learning to accept.  While she's missing, her parents are searching desperately for her.  The Thorn is a modern ranch that holds an ancient secret and Emma has to decide which world she wants to live in.  I can't go into much detail about the secret -- I went into the story not knowing exactly what it was about and I want to make sure that other readers can do the same.

The author describes the ranch and the state of Texas in such glowing and descriptive ways that it's easy to feel like you are in the midst of the story instead of reading about it.  Emma is a great main character and very accepting of other ways of life.  She's a strong, take charge woman but when she finds herself in an unknown world, she manages to be helpful there too.  Her decision whether to stay in the world that she's found or go back to her family is difficult and kept me rapidly turning the pages to find out what she would decide.

This novel is an intriguing family saga about love and family - both the family you are born into and the family made up of people that you care for.  I've never read a story quite like this and found it to be a real page turner full of twists and turns.  I highly recommend this book.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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