You may wonder how these two books share a thread. At first, there doesn’t really seem to be anything that these two stories have in common. Still, I felt there was one main thing that made me think they could be paired together. For instance, both feature young women (around nineteen years old) resolving to go out and face adulthood by leaving what they know behind them because of their unhappy situations. In the first novel, Irma is trying to have a normal life in Mexico with her Mennonite family, but when her husband leaves her without explanation—she is left picking up her broken heart and living under her father’s rules. The second book has a pregnant Eliza in Chile during the mid 1800’s determined to follow her lover to California, where the gold rush is exploding and opportunities are endless. Yes, the two stories take place in different times, yet we see the strong female character who has been abandoned by her man but choosing to make a life for herself in the hopes that the outcome will be better than the present situation. Irma is not pregnant, but for a while she does take her younger sister under her wing and they trek to Canada in hopes of escaping the wrath of their controlling father. Ultimately, the thread that joins these two novels then, is the young woman who travels from her birth home to make a new start in a different country, despite the obstacles she may face—and in the end, finding not only her true self but freedom or love (respectively).