Swandyke is a mining town high in the Rocky Mountains overlooking Denver in the early part of the twentieth century. It is a small town, dominated by the Fourth of July mine and inhabited by people just as every bit as dirty and poor as the town itself . There are the estranged Patch sisters, Lucy and Dolly; Minder Evans, a Civil War veteran haunted by his past; Grace Foote, the aloof wife to the mining superintendant; Joe Cobb, the only Negro in town running from the fear and hatred of the post-Civil War era South; and Essie Snowball, a prostitute desperately trying to buy a new future for herself and her daughter. It is in Swandyke where tragedy strikes, bringing these people together, bringing both pain and redemption.
Sandra Dallas wrote a very readable novel. I truly came to care about the Swandyke and characters. I wanted to know what brought them to Swandyke and what would happen to them when push came to shove. There wasn't an unlikable person in the bunch, despite their many flaws. However it wasn't exceptional. The story could have easily fallen into the melodramatic and corny. I'm still not sure it didn't. Regardless, I enjoyed myself when I read the novel and sometimes that's all you need. It would make a great read for one of those lazy days when you don't have anything better to do then cozy up with a book in one hand and warm drink in the other.