Donners Bend is an engaging story about a young girl, Eliana Mae Henderson. Eliana was young and pretty, though not thoroughly convinced of the latter. After leaving home at an early age, she experienced her share of difficulties; but she knew this was her life and there was no looking back. Fortunately, she was not afraid of hard work or anything that accompanied her seemingly uncertain future.
As she navigates through the challenges, she finds joy, unwavering friendships, and courage; but more than anything else, what Ellie least expected... an amazing, extraordinary love.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Alexa V. James writes a soft-hearted novel that revolves around the life of Ellie in her book, Donners Bend. At 16, Ellie moves away from her parents so that she may start her life and the town of Donners Bend welcomes her as she begins her journey of independence.
Ellie is a fragile girl, with a big heart, and the hope of leading a happy life. She was an easy character to like, but sometimes I felt her dialogue was stiff and that her actions were incongruent with certain situations. I wanted more of a back-story from Ellie as well as a deeper look into what made her tick. I actually wouldn't have minded a deeper look into each of the four biggest characters. Though Jamie was presented with the most background information.
I enjoyed the plot of this novel, though it was a bit predictable at times. However I was rather surprised at the end of the novel. I had begun to believe this was love story between Ellie and John and was taken aback at what actually happened. The only main thing that bothered me were the time gaps. I don't what it is with me and time gaps, but I just don't like them. Though, the author did well backing up the time gaps. This love story actually took time rather then having the characters fall in love instantly.
Overall, Donners Bend is a nice novel with a simplistically beautiful love story paired with the main character's coming of age.
Rating: 3/5 cups