Saga of Sourdough Red by Pinkie Paranya
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Full (372 pages)
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia
Jennifer Kileen, an Ohio farm girl, journeys to Alaska toward the end of the gold rush to search for her twin brother, Jeremy. He'd sent a torn map and a plea for help to their father, unaware that both parents had perished during an influenza epidemic. Jenny takes her kid brother with her, but to travel more freely she is disguised as a young man, hiding her one vanity, her long red hair, under a hat. Jenny and David start their journey surviving a storm at sea, make a harrowing trip up the dreaded Valdez Glacier, and are pursued by an unknown but relentless villain throughout their journey. Two men fall in love with her—Captain Mitch, a dashing, handsome ship's captain, and Neal Erickson, a doctor who gave up his profession to do survey work in the wilderness. Will Jenny choose the right man? Does she find her long-lost brother?
Cold, harsh, scary, breathtakingly beautiful Alaska is the venue for Jennifer (Jenny-Red) Kileen’s metamorphoses. Almost an “old maid,” tall, strong-boned, and conditioned to long hours of heavy farm work, she never thinks of herself as feminine. Consequently, when she and her fifteen-year-old brother, David, go to Alaska in search of her twin brother Jeremy, she puts on man’s clothing, hides her long red hair under her deceased dad’s old hat, and makes her way in disguise. Premonitions, always a part of her life, cause her to go into precarious places as she searches and survives in the far North.
Her life, so often in danger, is influenced by David; Captain John Mitchell; Willy B; Ivar, the Russian; Dr. Neal Erickson; Boo; Piccolo Pete; Whiskers; and a wealth of prospectors and adventurers. Some of these men love her and hold her in high regard while others do not. But only one proves to be the love-of-her-life. I’M NOT TELLING WHO!
Pinkie Paranya does a superb job of showing the many facets of love that impacts her characters lives and prompts them to do the things they do.
Saga of Sourdough Red is full of suspense, mystery, and graphic descriptions of life in Alaska during the gold rush years. Descriptions of the resplendent beauty of Alaska and the wonders of true love stand out like beacon lights that guide the reader to a most satisfying conclusion. It is full of episodes to be enjoyed again and again -- a good novel for one’s library.