Book Review: Beyond the Bougainvillea by Dolores Durando

Book Review at Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Ben White

Book Review: Beyond the Bougainvillea by Dolores Durando

by Joanne Troppello

So, I don’t usually read books listed in the genre of historical literary fiction. However, this book was offered for free and I downloaded it to my Kindle one day in addition to several other free books. I’m an author too. I know authors need to get paid for their books, but this author hasn’t made it to the NY Times Best Seller list yet—so I’m not ashamed to admit that I download free books on Kindle since I have a voracious appetite to read.

Today’s book review is of Beyond the Bougainvillea by Dolores Durando.

The book was published in 2011 and it’s 262 pages. The setting is 1930s Depression Era in North Dakota and then in California. Ms. Durando made her debut as an author with this book at the age of 90.

The prose is easy to read and flows fast, with great descriptions. There are vivid details about the struggles of the Great Depression, which interested me since I did not know a lot about this time in history.

The multiple POV shifts in the same sections were sometimes confusing. I had to get used to the very long chapters. There were a lot of sections to break up each chapter with the first sentence of the new section in bold.

I thought the author did a great job of depicting the main character, Marge, going from North Dakota to CA—and doing so many new things for the first time like eating ice cream, going to the beach, and being loved by a wonderful family.

Her journey throughout the story from difficult times as a child living with a drunk and abusive father—and then abusive situation in a marriage at a young age—throughout all she encountered in the future showed a strong woman of great character.

I loved the message of doing the best you can to bloom where you are planted. I liked how the author wrapped the story up in the end. I would like to see how that plotline could develop in a sequel of Marge’s adventures as they continue.

As a note for our younger or more sensitive readers, there is some profanity and slightly mature intimate scenes and themes. I’d label this book as for mature audiences only. However, I want to note that there is no overly explicit scenes or content, but it’s not geared to our younger audiences like other inspirational romance novels we review.

About the Book

She found her place in a turbulent era of deep passions, heartbreaking sacrifices, and grand dreams.

When scholarly, smart Mary Margaret is sixteen, her father marries her off to a drunken neighbor in return for a tract of land. The year is 1924, and Mary Margaret's motherless childhood has already been hard as a farm girl on the desolate prairies of North Dakota. Abused and helpless, the new Mrs. "Marge" Garrity seems destined for a tragic fate.

But Marge is determined to make her life count, no matter what. Her escape from her brutal marriage takes her to California, where she struggles to survive the Great Depression and soon answers the lure of the state's untamed northern half. There, embraced by the rough-and-ready people who built the great Ruck-a-chucky Dam on the American River, she begins to find her true mission in life and the possibility for love and happiness with an Army Corp engineer of Cherokee Indian descent.

Author Dolores Durando knows Marge's world very well. She grew up ninety years ago on the plains of North Dakota.


About the Author

Book Review at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, internet and media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.

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