Oct 16, 2012

Book Review: A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Excerpt: "Mary, I know you're wantin' to leave this city -- you've told me often how you pray more than dirty streets an' a lifetime of living near the docks for your wee ones."

Mary shifted her face to meet Tarsie's gaze. Longing glimmered in her blue eyes, the wordless beseeching creating an ache in the center of Tarsie's chest.

Tarsie pulled the yellowed Handbook of Kansas from her pocket and opened it. "Listen..." She began to read. "'Drayton Valley, it is admitted by everyone, has the best rock-bound landing , and is the best town site on the Missouri River. We say to the emigrant, come to Drayton Valley; believe as we do, that is is the destined to be the great emporium of the upper Missouri.'"

Mary plucked the booklet from Tarsie's hands and squinted at the cover. Her brows crunched low. "Kansas?"

"To be sure." Tarsie's heart pounded, hope swelling. She jabbed her finger at a paragraph farther down the page. "See there? It speaks of a busy steamboat trade. Joss knows dock work, so he'd surely find a job. A town of two thousand, Mary, instead of this crowded, dirty city. Wouldn't it be a fine place for you an' for Emmy an' wee Nathaniel? And maybe... maybe..." She swallowed. How she hated to remind Mary of Joss's shortcomings, but her Bible taught her to always speak truth. "Far from here, maybe Joss'll lose his taste for frequenting the saloons." A Home in Drayton Valley, pg 12.

Back Cover: A dream of a better life...
A tragedy aboard a wagon train...
A tentative agreement...
Will it lead to love for two seeking hearts?

Hoping to escape the poor conditions of 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines and her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two children set off for Kansas aboard an unusual wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into a partnership with Joss that leaves them both questioning God and their plans for the future.

As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will they give up and go their separate ways? Or will God use their time in Drayton Valley in a way they never expected?

My Review: Sawyer gives us a lot to think about in A Home in Drayton Valley. She isn't afraid to deal with some hard issues like illness, death, marriage, drunkenness, prohibition, and race. Sawyer's characters grow, change, and deepen within the pages of the book. I appreciate Sawyer's style, giving us a wholesome a love story with many complications and plot twists. I enjoyed her use of the children in this story to round it out, and add depth. I also enjoyed the unlikely friendships found in the pages. Overall, this was an enjoyable read.
My Rating:

My Recommendation: I recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and fans of Kim Vogel Sawyer.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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