Distant Dreams (Ribbons of Steel Series #1)

Distant Dreams (Ribbons of Steel Series #1)

3.4 142
by Judith Pella, Tracie Peterson, Tracie Peterson

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Only Her Father Understood her Love of the Unknown and the Promise of…Distant Dreams

Caught up in the excitement of America's westward expansion in 1835, fifteen-year-old Carolina Adams falls in love with the railroad. Living in a society that decidedly looks down on such aspirations in a woman, Carolina longs to study more masculine subjects


Only Her Father Understood her Love of the Unknown and the Promise of…Distant Dreams

Caught up in the excitement of America's westward expansion in 1835, fifteen-year-old Carolina Adams falls in love with the railroad. Living in a society that decidedly looks down on such aspirations in a woman, Carolina longs to study more masculine subjects such as science and advanced mathematics.

Fresh out of college, James must decide whether to join his father in the banking industry or pursue his own fascination with the railroad business. While recovering from an injury in a train derailment, James takes on a tutoring job at the Adams' plantation. He will serve as Carolina's teacher, but more important to his family, he will court Virginia, Carolina's beautiful older sister.

Overwhelmed by her father's surprise of a tutor, Carolina applies herself to her studies, while Virginia uses all of her southern charms to elicit a marriage proposal from James. But when Carolina's and James' mutual interests lead to unexpected feelings for each other, where will their dreams take them?

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In a promising start to a new historical series, Pella (Blind Faith, Bethany, 1996) and Peterson (Entangled, Bethany, 1997) deliver an entertaining story with a dynamic female lead character. Carolina Adams is 15 years old in 1835, and the life of a typical woman in the South is not what she wants. She has become entranced with the new railroad, as is her tutor, James Baldwin. The two are attracted, but James bows to his family's wishes and becomes engaged to Carolina's older sister. When James breaks off the engagement to follow the railroad westward, Carolina puts their relationship in the hands of God. The ending does leave readers hanging, so expect a demand for the sequels.
School Library Journal
YAAndrew Jackson's presidency and accompanying intrigue form the historical setting for this novel. An almost consuming curiosity about things mechanical, and especially the new railroad, creates frequent conflicts for 15-year-old Carolina Adams. The inquisitive teen faces daily challenges from her family and peers in an age when it is feared that too much education may "cause insanity in women." Fascination for the sight, sound, and even the smell of locomotives isolates the young woman from her convention-bound mother and brings ridicule from her older, socially conscious sister. Only her father and her sister's fianc share her enthusiasm for this new iron monster and seem sympathetic to her appetite for information. Solvency of the national bank, westward expansion, and the wisdom of investing in railroad construction are at issue in this first volume of the series. Subplots include tension in gender roles, parental power, and sibling rivalryall topics as viable in the 1990s as in the 1830s.Janice DeLong, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

Product Details

Bethany House Publishers
Publication date:
Ribbons of Steel Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.33(h) x 0.96(d)

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Distant Dreams 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
JodyGilchrist More than 1 year ago
From the very first page of the book I felt like I was really in another time. So if you love historical novels, do not hesitate, you will really feel the time of first railroads being built in America, you will get the feel of political context, of social relations, and in the middle of all of that you will find lovable characters. Carolina is a young lady eager to study more "masculine" subjects and develops a passionate interest for railroads. Her mother doesn't approve of such interests, as they are not considered ladylike and proper.However, her father decides to support her wishes and finds her a private tutor, James, who is courting her sister Victoria and recovering from his railroad accident. I liked many of the characters in the book I liked the pace of getting to know them, I liked the way the story developed and how it gave me an insight into the 19th century society, especially southern plantations. I also liked that the book was free. What I didn't like is that, even though the book is quite long, it is a series. This one is the first and doesn't resolve the situation between the heroine and the hero. I like to see a closure at the end of the book (even in a series) so if you are like me, just have this in mind so you are not disappointed. You really need to buy the complete series to discover what happens since this book leaves you hanging with many unanswered questions. If you don't mind reading sequels, and you enjoy historical fiction, you will find this book to be a start of many hours of an enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An inspiring novel about following your dreams against alll odds and looking toward God for hope and the promise of a better tomorrow. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book until the end. Glad to know it is a sequel. Did not realize it was and was supremely disappointed. Usually books have a happy ending. But good to know it is, now I am not AS dosappointed. Now I just have to pay for rhe sequels.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book us informative and educational on the railroad. I didn't like the ending at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This 416 page book seemed to drag on forever. It was very predictable. Then it just stopped. Not a single storyline had a conclusion. It was an absolute ripoff. I thought it would be about the development of the rail system and perhaps a woman having a part in its growth. Instead it was 400 pages of an unresolved romance and the same event and conversation over and over. No sex, cursing, mayham, murder or mystery. No conclusion. Lots of to do about nothing and quite a bit of religion. I do not not recommend this book. It was decently edited, thus one star for that and not for any other reason. AD
Vintage_Hippie More than 1 year ago
I normally like these authors. Normally, I read them through in one afternoon. Not this book. I literally found myself forced to keep reading at times. The middle dragged a LOT for me. It also seemed that some of the characters were far too contrived. It seemed as if this just wasn't their best effort. Maybe it was just me, but I wasn't a fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of technical info. Did not like ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. Many readers don't seem to grasp the concept of marketing a series. If an author is willing and confident enough to give away her 1st in a series on the premise that readers left hanging will buy the next book, it has merit. Don't complain about the ending if you haven't finiished the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Romance built but left hanging and tragic at the end of Volume One. Very rarely does a book ending leave me angry, but this one did. So much so, I refuse to buy the second volume. I understand building the story, but to separate the volumes in such a way smacks of publisher's whoring a book series out to make money rather than satisfaction of the reader. An extra chapter to explain the characters' responses would have served much better, at least to make the readers want to care what the transitioning stages of any of the relationships involved would be, and why.
joyfullAH More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed reading about the railroad and how carolina' no matter how hard she tried not to, falls in love with james.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt like the ending left me hanging! I thoroughly enjoyed thd book, enen so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome saga! It's true what they say about "bad ending/no conclusions," and "religion," BUT...! In no way did that inconclusive ending detract from my utter enjoyment of this book. The religion, too, was so uplifting and encouraging. The co-authors really know how to turn a phrase. Imagery abounds! This story is so worth reading; even without having all the loose ends neatly wrapped up. On the contrary, its open-endedness leaves room to expand it beyond the parameters of one 400-or-so page volume. Surprisingly enough, it left me feeling hopefully elated where the futures of the characters were concerned, looking toward their future growth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good story until the just drops everything leaving uou with no closure and no answrrs!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for free and I want a refund. It's about 400 pages too long and in the end children are dead and everyone's hearts are broken. FAR TOO MUCH detail into the history of America, Texas, Slavery, Politics and the development of the Railroads. Dear God this was a long and boring book. You just keep thinking that it will get better, surely it will get better, but it j doesn't and then it ends. Everything that happened in this book could have been said in 50 pages, not 416
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending was awful. The story just stopped.
CoffeeLuvr More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book about Carolina, a young woman with an intelligent mind, her sister Virginia, their family, and James, who is pressured by his father to find a wealthy wife. He picks Virginia but finds that while privately tutoring Carolina he has feelings for Carolina instead of Virginia. I liked the way the story came about and how it talked about 19th century society and how the railroad developed in the nation. The book was quite long, but also free. It is also book 1 of 3 in a series. I have nothing against series books but, like other reviews I read, I like closure at the end of all books. This book doesn't resolve situations between those involved and left a lot of questions unanswered. I didn't like the ending, and therefore only the 4 stars instead of 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a very good book, a little heavy on the teeny details. The biggest problem is the first book is free then the next 2 are $6 each. UGH!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate books that have an open ending . Overall this book was a good read. But dont expect a happy ending. Not yet any way i wont be reading the other books to this series. So in my mind they end up together. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That was such a letdown from such a promising book.
DNunley More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable and educational story. Good reading for young and old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's the first book in a series and is not a stand alone story. If you like plot instead of filler (sex, filthy talk), this is it. I loved some of the characters. Very glad I found this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great historical romance but i need more...i need closure regarding James...Hampton Cabot...Carolina. Really enjoyable read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great start of the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago