Book Review: A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

Posted August 31, 2020 by Asheley in review / 1 Comment

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham
Book Review: A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel FordhamA Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham
Published by Revell Books on August 4, 2020
Source: the publisher
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Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie's pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves--but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can't seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you're going.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


This is a second chance romance featuring Agnes Pratt and James Harris, set in the Dakota Territory in 1880. Agnes came to town about six years ago after leaving her family and fiance behind. James answered a Help Wanted-type ad for a town doctor in the same town where Agnes lived. Agnes helps James earn the trust of the townspeople by helping James take care of the sick and wounded. Working together required them to spend time together, which provided a great opportunity for the two to work through the problems from their past.

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

There are several things that I want to talk about with regard to this story, but I don’t want to spoil any part of it at all. So I’ll just say this: I love that Agnes and James were able to reconnect and strengthen their relationship by opening up and talking. I appreciate the patience that this required. They’re both really good characters, very respectful of each other and supportive of their fellow townspeople. There was a fantastic supporting cast of characters in their friends and neighbors, and I really want to know more about these characters even though I’ve finished the story. There were a few big events that happened I this town and I really felt for all of the characters in those moments. Great themes in here, including family, love, and friendship. The end of this story left me feeling so happy.


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About Rachel Fordham

Rachel Fordham author photo

Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


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