Seeking the American Dream
by Heidi M. Thomas

SunCatcher Publications, 2017. ISBN 978-0-999-06630-0.
Reviewed by Denise McAllister
Posted on 03/20/2018

Fiction: Literary; Fiction: Mainstream

Author Heidi M. Thomas has a rich history to draw from as she crafts her stories about strong women of the West. In her previous books like Cowgirl Dreams and Dare to Dream, she wrote about her rodeo riding grandmother.

In this novel, Seeking the American Dream, Thomas utilizes her mother's journey from Germany to Montana after World War II as the inspiration for heroine Anna's story. Anna and her family would never in a million years get involved with an American soldier. Wasn't he the enemy, in a way?

Anna was a dedicated nurse in 1944 and in love with Fritz, a successful doctor. Life was going along as planned. But life doesn't always listen to our plans, does it? Things happen—twists and turns—not only in life, but in fiction which can mimic life. Many surprises are thrown at Anna and she must be strong to face all of them.

One surprise is meeting the handsome American soldier, Neil, and subsequently ending up in Montana where she doesn't know anyone, where she is without her family and familiar homeland of Germany. Everything is so different in Montana—the people, the climate, and the land. But still, with its own beauty:

The air was crisp and clean. As she looked across the miles of sparkling white snow with its unlikely blue and purple accents, Anna pushed the scarf back from her forehead. This was truly beautiful. She'd never seen anything like it.
Thomas weaves a memorable story and creates believable characters that readers can empathize with. Seeking the American Dream is a story about love, courage, struggles, adventure, perseverance, acceptance, and belonging.

Heidi M. Thomas grew up on a working ranch in eastern Montana. Her parents instilled in her the love of books and her grandmother rode bucking stock in the 1920s and 1930s rodeos. Heidi received a journalism degree from the University of Montana and wrote her grandmother's story in a number of books.

Heidi has attained many awards for her writing, including: her first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, which won an EPIC Award and the USA Book News Best Book Finalist award. Follow the Dream was a WILLA Award winner, and is the second book in the "Dare to Dream" series about strong, independent Montana women. Dare to Dream was an International Book Awards Finalist. Heidi's non-fiction book about the old-time cowgirls of Montana, Cowgirl Up!, won the Global eBook Award. Her novel Seeking the American Dream (2017) is the first in a new series, and is based on her mother who emigrated from Germany after WWII.

Heidi is a member of Women Writing the West, Professional Writers of Prescott, is a manuscript editor, and teaches local memoir and fiction writing classes. Visit her website.

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