Heartbreak Trail - Shirley Kennedy I've been going back and forth between giving this book a 2.5 and a 3. It lands somewhere in between the two. I liked how it didn't shrink from a lot of the harsh realities of living on a wagon train. People died from drowning, buffalo stampedes, typhoid, childbirth and accidental shootings. Only a fraction of the characters survived the trip. I'd never read about a wagon train before and it reminded me a lot of the old computer game Oregon Trail, where you were lucky if your five family members survived. So I found that aspect interesting.

However, the dialogue was incredibly unbelievable at times - particularly all of the conversations between Lucy and Clint. At every one of their interactions I would be screaming in my mind "no one talks like that!" That is actually what bothered me the most about this book - the setting felt so real and then the dialogue felt so fake. I mean who describes sex to their sister as "floating on the wings of love." *gag* And then there were times where it actually made me feel uncomfortable. It says a lot when you can make a hopeless romantic uncomfortable when talking about love.

The other thing that bothered me was there were a few situations that Lucy found herself in that seemed to me to be easily solvable. But she would just allow herself to be forced along by Abner. It seemed diametrically opposite of the strong character that we've been told, and shown, that she is. I understand it was needed to move the plot forward, but it just seemed inconsistent with her character.