After long weeks, illness, fatigue – I reach out for a simple novel to read. Escape? Ponder what might have been had I lived 100 years or more ago? Amish Novels, Homesteading novels, families traveling west, immigrants making good in sod homes. After reading so many of these, they start to blur together. Like watching old reruns of favorite sitcoms. The family asks – Have I watched this one before?
On the story line – one might ask – Have I Read This One Before? Tiny girl, squashed emotionally and physically by the blows of death and running from her life of privilege after reports of her father loosing his monies after death – she escapes as a mail order bride type, to seek the brother of her pastor out on the Dakota Prairie. The ebb and flow of the relationship building is to be expected. Love – Security – conquers all – the Lord is found, along with love.
The thread of the ideas of this particular story – how it is woven – should make one stop to ponder a bit. Of relationships. Of Public Shoulds. What Should a person do to please others? Their Spouse? Their Parents? Many a theme from conversations with girlfriends who have or are facing divorce ring through in this story. Loss of income. Loss of Hope. Loss of a child. Geographical distance from a spouse. The entire town encouraging you to marry another. The Loss of everything you worked to build on this earth. Run. Run. Run. The desire to talk with a girlfriend the things not seemly to talk to your spouse about. The loneliness that comes when you do not see your spouse as your best friend, but rather a business partner. There are questions in the back of the book to help you bring this novel into a common day life question list - of what is happening to marriage today - And how to cling to those vows, no matter how thin a piece of paper they are written on – and place your hope and trust in the Lord – and not a man.
On the Historical Novel Side – I enjoyed the time frame – the events that occur in the late 1860’s. The details of several nationalities forming a town from a patch of grass, forming a community with language and cultural barriers. Stepping up to fill the roles of banker, preacher, and storekeeper.
The BIGGEST plus I enjoyed about this book – that I will try to always mention in these reviews – is the “thought pattern” of the main character. In this book we are not subjected to endless thought –retelling – of their life. Thank You Very Much!
Looking for a way to hunker down and rest for the afternoon – being caught up in the lives of those on the frontier? I recommend this book!
Description From Book Sneeze -
When Susannah goes to Dakota territory as a mail-order bride she finds something she never dreamed she would—true love.
With no prospects for marriage and her parents recently deceased, Susannah Underhill agrees to go west to the Dakota territory to marry her minister's homesteading brother, Jesse. But Susannah is painfully shy, doesn't see herself as worthy of love from either a husband or from God, and lives in constant fear that Jesse is going to ship her back to Detroit.
In spite of her petite size and the fact that Susannah doesn't look like she could survive on the prairie, Jesse quickly discovers that his new wife is a greater blessing than he even hoped for. The years she spent as her father's veterinary assistant allow her to save Jesse's ox and twin calves and to help neighboring farmers with their animals.
But Susannah's feelings of unworthiness are deeply rooted, and she can't believe that Jesse's praise—or the tenderness and love he shows—could possibly last. The thawing of her heart seems almost as distant as Spring in the midst of the winter blanketing the Dakota prairie.