I first read Sandra Dallas work years ago - The Persian Pickle Club being the first book by Dallas that I happened upon. I liked it, but didn't love it. Only after reading it and talking about it with people and reading more of her work did I really start to love it and the twists in the story. The Bride's House is Dallas' newest book, and ranks right up there with her others.
As is common in many of Dallas' books, the setting of The Bride's House is Colorado. Beginning in the late 1800's and moving into the 1950s, Dallas' novel tells the story of three generations of women. Nealie Bent has run away to the mining town of Georgetown, Colorado, escaping her abusive father. In Georgetown she turns the eye of a few men, but is most taken with a young man from a wealthy family. Years later her daughter, Pearl, is growing up in the Bride's House, the house her mother had admired as a young woman new to Georgetown. Pearl doesn't know anything about her mother's rich boyfriend, and loves her father Charles very much. Charles has made his own fortune as a mining prospector, and Pearl works for her widowed father long into her own adulthood. Although Pearl would like to marry, any suitable bachelor doesn't live up to her father's standards.
Susan is the third generation of women who have lived in the Bride's House. Susan loves spending time in Colorado with her grandfather and has found a group of friends to hang out with during her visits there. Susan is especially interested in one of the young men in this group -hoping that he will at some point return her affection.
All three women have more in common than they initially suspect. Each of them has had to keep a secret of their own. Eventually when all is revealed, Susan, the youngest woman in this family is able to learn from her mother's and grandmother's secrets and make a decision for her future learning from her predecessors.
Dallas has a knack for springing a few surprises on readers, and The Bride's House is no exception. I've tried not to divulge anything in my review, because I enjoyed the surprises myself- never anticipating them. I'm always glad to read Sandra Dallas' books, and The Bride's House will be one I happily recommend to others.