Mollie Sheehan has spent much of her life striving to be a dutiful daughter and honor her father’s wishes, even when doing so has led to one heartbreak after another. After all, what options does she truly have in 1860s Montana? But providing for her stepfamily during her father’s long absences doesn’t keep her from wishing for more.
When romance blooms between her and Peter Ronan, Mollie finally allows herself to hope for a brighter future–until her father voices his disapproval of the match and moves her to California to ensure the breakup. Still, time and providence are at work, even when circumstances are at their bleakest. Mollie may soon find that someone far greater than her father is in control of the course of her life–and that even the command to “honor thy father” has its limits.
New from New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick, Beneath the Bending Skies is a sweeping story of hospitality, destiny, and the bonds of family.
“Readers will enjoy the sweeping landscapes, complex father-daughter relationship, and the unassuming power and relevancy of this wonderfully multilayered novel.” — Booklist
“Kirkpatrick tells the story of real-life woman of the frontier Mary “Mollie” Sheehan in this pleasant fictionalized account of her life. …her travels across the Western U.S. offer an enjoyable look at hardscrabble life on the frontier. Inspirational historical fans will find plenty to delight in.” — Publishers Weekly
“This book will interest anyone who loves a true story, historical novels, forbidden romance, and SPOILER…a happy ending.” — Interviews and Reviews (Read the full review here.)
“Mary Sheehan Ronan is the kind of gal I want in my corner. And Jane Kirkpatrick did a stellar job of bringing her back from the grave and onto the pages of Beneath the Bending Skies. It takes a woman of courage to stand up to a manipulative father and marry the man she was clearly meant to be with. As the wife of the ‘White Chief,’ Mary’s ministry to the Salish Kootenai Natives and friendship with Shows No Anger in Montana during times of unrest between Natives and non-Natives is one of inspiration. This story celebrates the ties that can and do take place between cultures in the past and present. A story that will linger in your thoughts and heart for years to come.” — Carmen Peone, award-winning author of Lillian’s Legacy
“Jane Kirkpatrick never fails to take us away on unforgettable journeys. Her carefully crafted layers of colors, textures, music . . . transport us to eras of history that we might otherwise miss. Mollie and Peter’s story is no different. What amazing lives they led! Their resilience and love was a legacy that lives on–thanks to Jane’s gifted storytelling!” — Melody Carlson, author of Westward to Home series
“Jane Kirkpatrick’s latest book is about the struggle between a father and daughter and the challenges of seeking a better life during the 1800s. Jane’s story shows a sensitive and compassionate approach to the coming-of-age of a daughter and the conflict between two men who love her. I will not easily forget Beneath the Bending Skies nor the eloquent prose used to connect the reader with the characters. I will recommend this book to all my customers, friends, and family and look forward to discussing the book with them.” — Judi Wutzke, owner/manager of …and BOOKS, too!
“Jane Kirkpatrick’s Beneath the Bending Skies is one of the best novels I’ve read in a very long time. Set primarily against the backdrop of Montana’s Big Sky country, the story narrates the life of Mollie Ronan. At times tragic, yet always compelling, it is overall the uplifting account of a woman’s struggles to find her place in life, within her extended family, and in the arms of the man she’s loved since childhood. Told with warmth and respect for the land and its people–especially her relationship with the Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreille tribes–Beneath the Bending Skies is a fascinating journey and a worthwhile read.” — Michael Zimmer, author of The Poacher’s Daughter.
- Finalist, 2023, Women in Writing the West, WILLA Award, Historical Novel category
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