Beverly Lewis is a classic writer! Her books always give me spiritual and scriptural inspiration. I truly enjoy reading them.
Twenty year old Sallie Riehl is at that point in her life where she must choose to make a lifetime commitment to the Amish church by joining and being baptized. She even has a beau courting her, Perry, whom she has no attraction to. Sallie is invited by a wealthy family to spend the summer as their nanny at the beach in New Jersey. Her parents agree to let her go but with great reservations. Her strong desire to travel and see the world is a constant conflict with the Amish beliefs. Reasoning that this trip will get it out of her system she more than happily agrees to go.
What fun it was to experience the trip, the ocean and the beach through her eyes! Such a fresh view of so much we take for granted. As if all there was to see and do are not enough she gets a taste of freedom she never before had. Her weekends are open to do as she pleases. On her grand adventure she meets Kevin. He is fun, interesting, shares her dreams to travel and she finds herself having strong feelings toward him.
Upon her return home the trip has not only failed to extinguish her passion for travel, but Sallie finds herself desiring it even more. Her eyes being opened she realizes she is not happy with her Amish life. She must now make the decision to disappoint her family and leave or stay forever living in discontent.
The book’s title was so meaningful to the story. The way time and circumstances pulls us forward into the future and back into the past. The book presents a strong testimony of seeking God’s will in the face of tough decisions; pleasing Him or others. An excellent book!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.
Historical novels are always so exciting to me as I get to step into the past with characters and their lives the author has created. I live beside them and experience living and facing challenges during that era. The early American frontier was such a time of change and adventure. That’s why so many of us love westerns right? Reading about those times and entertaining ourselves with movies is far different than living during that era. This is something the author really brought to light for me. If you lost your family you were on your own and at the true mercy of others. You couldn’t run down to Walmart and buy medicine when you were sick or groceries and these are just a few difficulties they faced!
After losing her parents, Grace marries the bad-tempered Rev. Martindale so she could provide for her sisters and travel the Oregon Trail west. It was a marriage of convenience as he had to be married to serve as a missionary. Her plans were derailed when he suddenly dies along the way. She is left with nothing again.
Dr. Whitman of the Whitman Mission (of the infamous massacre) allows them to stay. Grace finds herself in conflict with the doctor/missionary because she is an herbalist. He does not want her treating anyone. This is ironic as she saved so many lives with her remedies on the wagon train. It reminded me of western medicine and holistic medicine conflicts today.
While Grace and her sisters have a roof over their head they are not out of danger. Unfortunately the wagon train brought an epidemic of measles and there are many deaths, especially among the Indians. The Cayuse Indians the doctor is treating are dying in large numbers. They believe his medicine is purposely killing them. Add to that the problem of the increasing population of white men taking the Indian’s land, and there is serious trouble. Hostilities are increasing and the mission is in danger of Indian attack.
A bright note in her life is handsome trapper Alex Armistead. Familiar with the ways of the Indians and the wilderness, he protects and watches out for Grace and her sisters.
There were so many things I liked about the book. First and foremost was the focus on scripture and the plan of salvation. So rare to find a novel that actually shares this. The author emphasized strongly the reliance on God and strong faith in any situation, not allowing compromises. The tragedies faced by the characters are heart-breaking.
I use natural remedies and oils regularly. I found it extremely interesting as to how Grace used and obtained her treatments. Once again a startling reminder of the hardships the people faced with injuries and illness.
Always a great author, Ms. Peterson did an extraordinary of capturing historical facts and bringing to life the raw emotions of those who lived through the events. A book you will want to read!
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.