Leisure, Sep 2004, 5.99
In 1856 after being in Kansas City Samuel “Mac” MacCallister returns home to Lake Okoboji, Iowa after being away for four months. His neighbor and best friend Rowland Gardner informs Mac that he “lent” his cabin to Sadie Pritchard, a widow with a child recovering from smallpox and another small son.
Instead of grieving for her abusive husband, with her child recuperating and the other on healthy, Sadie thinks the world is looking good though she knows she will need a home by winter when this Mac returns. However, when Mac arrives he allows Sadie to stay for now while the lad continues to heal, but once he does he expects her to join the next wagon train west. Mac does not trust women since his former wife hurt him, but admits the pretty Sadie is good with her kids and his baby. As they fall in love, a small band of Sioux begin a quest that will lead to bloodshed.
WISHES ON WATER is a fine western romance starring two delightful protagonists whose previous respective relationships left each of them with negative feelings towards marriage. The story line contains two major subplots with the romance and intermingling of the families being the prime one while the confrontation between the Sioux-white settlers the other. Though the latter is well written especially from the Indian perspective, it seems more like unnecessary angst and suspense that takes away from the fabulous principal plot. Still sub-genre fans will treasure Dana George's strong historical.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner