In 1911, Carrie Strahorn wrote a memoir entitled Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, which shared some of the most exciting events of 25 years of traveling and shaping the American West with her husband, Robert Strahorn, a railroad promoter, investor, and writer. That is all fact. Everything She Didn't Say imagines Carrie nearly ten years later as she decides to write down what was really on her mind during those adventurous nomadic years.
Certain that her husband will not read it, and in fact that it will only be found after her death, Carrie is finally willing to explore the lessons she learned along the way, including the danger a woman faces of losing herself within a relationship with a strong-willed man and the courage it takes to accept her own God-given worth apart from him. Carrie discovers that wealth doesn't insulate a soul from pain and disappointment, family is essential, pioneering is a challenge, and western landscapes are both demanding and nourishing. Most of all, she discovers that home can be found, even in a rootless life.
With a deft hand, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick draws out the emotions of living--the laughter and pain, the love and loss--to give readers a window not only into the past, but into their own conflicted hearts. Based on a true story.
In this enjoyable historical novel set on the 19th-century American frontier, Kirkpatrick (This Road We Traveled) fleshes out the story of real-life pioneer Carrie Adelle Strahorn. Raised in the Midwest within an affluent family, Dell, as she was known, moves west after marrying Robert Strahorn, a publicist for the Union Pacific Railroad. While Dell struggles with infertility, runaway stagecoaches, black bears, her faith, and long separations from her husband, she is also blessed with strong family support, luxuries unavailable to most pioneer women, and a degree of control over her own destiny not afforded to most women of her era. Filled with gumption and desire, Dell is more concerned with what she doesn't have a child, a stable home life than what she does. Kirkpatrick used Strahorn's 1911 memoir Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, as the backbone of the narrative, filling out Dell's biography with vibrant detail. Embedded in the novel is also an illuminating history of railway expansion during the late 1800s. While Dell's tale will appeal to those interested in stories of American westward expansion, it lacks a discernible plot, and outside of Dell, the characters are difficult to care about. However, fans of Kirkpatrick's research-heavy style will enjoy this exciting novel.