“Pioneer Passage is a truly delightful, meaty read that will satisfy
any reader who enjoys an excellent adventure exceptionally well

reviewer Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite

Having already read the second story in this saga, I was
familiar with the principal characters of the Wright family and
author J.F. Collen uses this iteration to expand on and emphasize
the unique character and powerful faith of these early pioneers but
more especially the women. Cornelia Rose is a woman ahead of her
time; learned, well-read, opinionated, and skilled in the healing arts.
Her need to be recognized, understood and listened to by men,
especially her conservative and strict husband Obadiah, is a real
highlight of this particular part of the story. I particularly enjoyed
the interactions between Cornelia Rose and her male admirers who
were all clearly besotted with the young wife’s beauty, charm, wit,
and intelligence. Her handling of their advances was both amusing
and, for the period, possibly even somewhat risqué.

Pioneer Passage: The Journey of Cornelia Rose Book 3 is the third
but hopefully not the last of author J.F. Collen’s epic story of a
journey across America, taken by Cornelia Rose and her family in
the mid-1800s. Cornelia Rose has left her beloved family and her
lovely home in Sing Sing, New York to dutifully follow her husband,
Obadiah, who has recently been appointed a Federal Court Justice
in the territory of Utah. To reach the great Salt Lake City required a
dangerous and arduous wagon journey on the famous Oregon Trail
where mountain crossings, deep river fords, restless Native
Americans and dangerous animals await these intrepid emigrants.
That is before we even consider the possible dangers awaiting the
Wright family when they finally do reach Salt Lake City. Rumors
abound that the Mormon Saints are determined to rule Utah as their
very own Jerusalem and are prepared to do whatever it takes to
keep the United States Federal authorities out of their promised
land that they called the State of Deseret. The wagon train is
comprised of simple emigrants from all walks of life, some headed
for the promised free farmland of the Oregon territory, some
Mormon “Saints” who like the Wrights are bound for Salt Lake City,
and some who head all the way across the great plains of the
Midwest, bound for California and gold. With just deep and abiding
faith in their Lord, some rudimentary maps and guidebooks plus the
indomitable pioneering spirit of independence, this eclectic
collection of families and individuals must somehow work together
and navigate the travails that lie ahead.

settle in for an adventure

What I particularly love about this author’s style is her ability to
convey a wonderment and understanding of the physical
environment the pioneers were passing through. Her prose is
melodic, almost to the point of musicality and her descriptions vivid
and real enough to transport the reader right into the wagon,
alongside Nellie and her family, as they negotiate the dangers of
the trail. One can truly feel the barrenness and spread of the
western prairies, along with the power of the crystal-clear night sky through Collen’s melodic prose. I loved this story, as I did the
second book, and I can only hope the author does not intend to end
Nellie’s journey with their arrival in Salt Lake City. A fantastic read
that I can highly recommend and one of the best I’ve had in a long

-Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite

1.     © Jane F. Collen  March 3, 2022

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