Bonanza Girl by Patricia Beatty


Published: 1962

In this story, a widow and her children move to a mining town in Idaho.  Once there, Mother realizes that there aren’t any other children, so her plans to teach school are not really a viable possibility.  Luckily, she had been befriended along the way by a strong young Swedish woman, who sets herself up as the family protector, and persuades Mother to set up something the town really needs: a decent restaurant.

While the story is fine, it was a bit slow, and quite a bit pointless.  Although they have an enemy who  keeps trying to make trouble, there really isn’t any kind of ultimate goal for the book.  Everyone meanders along, searching for gold, packing mules, cooking pancakes, picking berries, and nothing really happens.  The end, involving an avalanche, also seems a bit implausible.  Short story, I ended up packing this book off on Paperback Swap.  For me, it was a 2/5.