Millie Chase is devastated by the loss of her mother and in her need to escape from her sort of step father, while married to her mother he never adopted her officially, she decides to run away. At 14 she doesn’t really know where she can go until she remembers that her mother had a friend named Ginny Baker and she thinks she could be her salvation. Ginny and her husband, Nate, both live in Yellowstone National Park and while they love each other deeply their life is not easy, especially with so little work available in the 1930’s and Ginny’s family struggling with monetary issues of their own. The Winterkeeper showcases strength against all odds, especially when love is there.
Ginny and Nate fell in love and have set up their own life within Yellowstone where Nate works as a winterkeeper. He covers the entire property and works to maintain everything going on in the park, but when he is told about a missing girl he is surprised when he finds a teenager looking for his wife. This young girl, Millie, is trying to find Ginny in the hopes that she can protect her from whatever plans her late mother’s husband may have for her. Nate struggles with how he should react to the arrival of this girl and what he should do, as she has been reported missing. While he is taking care of Millie, Ginny is in Chicago coping with a number of concerns in her sister’s family. While she and her sister had inherited a great deal of money from their parents the funds have almost been entirely depleted. That would be enough stress for anyone, but Ginny has learned she is pregnant, which completely shocks the forty-four year old. The pressure of the Great Depression is impacting all of their lives and not only that, but Millie’s entire life seems uncertain after the loss of her mother.
The Winterkeeper is a historical fiction work that shows how strong people can be in the face of unexpected adversity. The Depression was a period of unease and sadness for so many Americans and Schmidt has crafted a story that shows how various levels of society were impacted. Millie is such a strong young character and the bond she builds with Ginny and Nate shows that love and family can always be found. I was not expected all of the drama and intrigue that appeared within this plot and found myself shocked by some of the surprises that will definitely keep you eager to know more. This is a great period piece with well crafted characters that anyone who enjoys historical fiction will love. You can read The Winterkeeper today.