Beth made me do it*

It’s all her fault, really it is. Because she asked us, her loyal readers, if we remembered the first romance we ever read. So I posted a comment about that. The basic facts:

When: circa 1975
Where: Austria
What: a book called Kalifornische Sinfonie, translated into German from English. I remember the author’s first name was Gwen. I remember quite a lot about the story.

So after that my curiosity was not going to let it go. I hopped over the Amazon Germany and was I shocked to find it, immediately, on the basis only of the title and the author’s first name. This isn’t the cover I remember, but it’s definitely the same book.

Finding the German edition made it possible to track down the original title.
Jubilee Trail is still in print, as are all of Gwen Bristow’s novels. Unfortunately they’ve redesigned the cover.
Jubilee Trail
I think the original (1950) cover is wonderful. I can say with absolute certainty that if I ran into that cover in a bookstore today, I’d be forced to pick it up and walk to the cash register.

As it is, I put a more recent edition on hold at the library, along with The Diary of Mattie Spencer by Stella Dallas. I read this one too, a long time ago, and remember it vaguely.

As a teenager I had a real weak spot for stories of women in dire circumstances traveling west. Mrs. Mike, for example. Most women my age have fond memories of Mrs. Mike. I’m really wondering how these novels will strike me, so many years later.

NOTE; the formatting on this post is wonky. That’s not Beth fault, but I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I hope you’ll muddle through somehow.