A lone woman alit from the caboose of an early morning freight train. She stood, silhouetted against the pale dawn, a tumble of black curls cascading down her back, a shabby valise crumpled at her feet. She was the kind of woman who drew men to her like foxes to a vixen. Yet, when they looked into her eyes, they averted their gaze and slunk away. She saw too much, this ripe, fecund female; saw the hunger in their bellies, the lust in their loins and the evil in their souls. In her charms were both rapture and damnation. Few men would risk their souls to claim the promise of her full hips and overflowing breasts.
Exiting the school house Kirsten Swendsen narrowed her eyes to study the stranger who looked so at home in Glenrose, Saskatchewan. As the truth dawned, animosity shattered her schoolmarm serenity. Runaway, adulteress, unfit mother, indecent, wanton . . . the list of Kathleen Walden’s sins filled many a gossip’s chatter. Kirsten had no doubt the woman at the train station was Kathleen, come back to damage the lives of her children and husband again. Rage jolted along her veins. Without weighing the consequences, she stepped into her gig and turned the horse for Walden farm.
Here is the question. Which woman should be the heroine of this book? Kathleen has lots of baggage from a previous novel. Can a woman who has abandoned her children and disgraced her husband be convincingly rehabilitated so that the reader believes her wronged husband can love her again?
Kirsten is a schoolmarm in every sense of the word. Can an opinionated, rule-ridden, super-achiever be a romantic heroine? Can a man who has loved Kathleen love her antithesis?
As a reader, which woman would you root for?
All comments gratefully received.