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Indie Excellence Awards 2008 Finalist in the History Category
“Have you ever anxiously opened a newly-arrived letter only to discover it was meant for your neighbor two doors down? Reading Sunshine Always seems a bit like that—indulging oneself in someone else’s personal correspondence. But what a rare glimpse it is. . . . [Sunshine Always] demonstrates the enduring beauty of the handwritten word.”—Nebraska History
"Sunshine Always is a good choice for readers interested in history, biography, or love stories."—Book Marks, South Dakota Library Association
"Nelson's introduction provides an excellent historical context for the letters."—Book Marks, South Dakota Library Association
"The letters offer glimpses into everyday life on the Plains in the 1880s."—Kansas History
With intelligence and growing passion, Alice Bower of Vermillion and Joseph Gossage of Rapid City corresponded with each other during their 16-month-long courtship. Though they did not meet in person until late 1881, 29-year-old Gossage, publisher of a small newspaper, had been introduced to 20-year-old Bower, an experienced typesetter, several years earlier by a mutual acquaintance who had encouraged him to hire her to set type for his new Black Hills Weekly Journal. Their letters and Bower’s journal offer a window, not only on their hearts, but also on that particular time and place on the Dakota frontier.
Bower and Gossage’s correspondence reminds us of a time when the newspaper office was the dynamic center of community life. Modern-day readers will enjoy fascinating glimpses not only into the settling of eastern and western Dakota Territory, fraught with floods and economic cycles of boom and bust, but also into a middle-class Victorian courtship—in which exchanging letters and photographs was an indication of serious interest and discussing temperance and the intention not to become parents reflected the earnest spirit of the times.
"Sunshine Always is enthusiastically recommended reading and a welcome contribution to both academic and community library collections."—The Midwest Book Review
"The letters reveal something of the political and religious values and social expectations of upwardly mobile middle class people in the Dakota Territory . . . "—Reference & Research Book News
"The letters provide a unique and engaging 'window in time' . . . "—The Midwest Book Review
Read a review of this book from North Dakota History by clicking on the link below.
Download the full Nebraska History review below.
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