Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Review: Burning Sky

Burning Sky: A Novel of the American FrontierBurning Sky: A Novel of the American Frontier by Lori Benton

Burning Sky returns to her family's land on the frontier. She returns to become Wilhelmina "Willa" Obenchain again. Willa was taken years ago and grew up with the Kanien'kaha:ka, or the Mohawks. During her time away, she became a daughter of the tribe, married, bore children, and lost it all. Faith in the Lord kept her in mind and spirit. She returns to rediscover her family, stand alone so her heart cannot break even more, and stand firm with the Lord.

I applaud Benton for debuting with a novel set in the Colonial period. It's not a popular period...yet I found I have read many 18th century books recently. Maybe the 1700's is making a comeback? Anyways, I really enjoyed her first novel. I loved the two cultures coming together in writing. The sections of the books followed the Mohawk calendar. Willa's struggle with returning is to "society" is fascinating. It's not just her story either in this piece, Benton shares the story of Willa's Mohawk brother Tames-His-Horse, Dr. Neil MacGregor, and the Obenchain's neighbors, the Waring family. Anni Waring Keppler shared an excellent point that everyone suffered their own hell with war and death.

Everyone was hurt at one time and the path to healing isn't straight and easy. Yes, Willa's story is foremost in this novel, but others find healing as well. The Lord is near to those who seek Him. Sometimes our path goes astray, but He is faithful and will guide us.

Time Period: Colonial, 1780's
Location: New York Frontier

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Review: Trouble in Store

Trouble in StoreTrouble in Store by Carol Cox

Mercantiles are not known for murder, but Melanie has landed in trouble in her new job as business partner with Caleb Nelson. Caleb wants nothing to do with his new partner, but she cannot be denied her place in the store.

I was amazed at the many twists woven into this piece of historical fiction. It was more than historical fiction - it was a mystery. The beginning opened up with Melanie's final adventures as a governess then quickly moves on to her move to her cousin's mercantile in the West. The arguments between Melanie and Caleb are very believable, because everyone has moments of feeling out of place and taking a stand for their place in the world. The reveal at the end took me by surprise, which was great. I won't spoil the end because I want the new readers to enjoy the final chapters. Cox wrote a great standalone novel that can be enjoyed in an afternoon or over a vacation.

Time Period: Western, 1880's
Location: Cedar Ridge, Arizona Territory, USA

Reviewed from a NetGalley copy. Thank you, Bethany House Publishers!
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