Friday, January 2, 2015

Steadfast Heart by Tracie Peterson

This is the first in a new series about brides in Seattle. The major female character is Abrianna, a somewhat independent young woman under the care of her aunts. The elderly women have the Madison Bridal School where young women learn skills for future courting and marriage. Abrianna herself is more concerned about helping the poor than she is marriage.

I always like to learn something when I read a novel. I did learn a little about the operation of the bridal school but that was about it.

There is a very strong Christian theme to this novel. Abrianna and others are strong believers. The salvation message is presented through a conversation between two characters.

I appreciated the many interactions in the novel that were an encouragement for individuals to be who they really are, even in the face of society's displeasure. One scene was a man coming to accept his sister as a very happy actress, something he would have previously violently opposed. And Abrianna is determined to be who God has called her to be. She says of herself, “It isn't easy to be me.”

I do wish there had been more about Seattle. I was disappointed in the lack of description of the area. Were there wooden walkways? Were the streets dirt or brick? Were there hills? What was the weather like? All of that was missing. That means that this novel could have taken place in just about any city.

Most of the action concentrates on the character interaction. While there are a few murders, they seem to be irrelevant except to keep the women in training inside and convince the aunts to sell their building. There is no concern of finding out who committed them.

There is no tidy end to this novel. Yes, there is a wedding, but there are so many issues that are left hanging that it is obviously the first in a series.

People who like character development through mostly conversation will like this novel. Readers who appreciate a novel that could take place in just about any location will also like this novel. Those who like simple historical romance will enjoy this one.

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over a hundred novels, both historical and contemporary. She and her family make their home in Montana. Find out more at Visit her blog at

Bethany Fellowship, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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