This is a delightful historical Christian romance. It reminded me of novels from a generation ago. By the end, people were getting saved left and right.
Our heroine is Jennifer Parks, a young seventeen year old orphan in the care of a crotchety uncle and aunt. When his physical abuse threatens to become sexual, she runs away. He's livid because his continued care of her is necessary for him to get title to the Parks ranch.
Jenny travels hard and fast to escape her uncle. She has exciting and dangerous adventures along the way. She is rescued more than once by William O'Casey, a peddler who travels the area looking for his prodigal brother and showing a movie about the passion of Christ.
The story line for this novel is a fun one. It's 1908 in Colorado. Jenny is an elocutionist who performed songs and poems. She is also a feisty young woman, capable of making her way over the mountain range to freedom – until her uncle manages to locate her. I liked William too. He is struck by Jenny the first time he sees her performing. When their lives intersect later, he falls hard for her. But their romance suffers through many problems and near disasters.
The novel is not perfect. There were a couple of turns in the plot that I thought were just a bit too convenient. Nonetheless, the novel was a delight to read. I loved the way Christian faith was portrayed and the way people supported each other. In an Author's Note, we find out that Brownell's grandmother was an elocutionist and her grandfather traveled around in his youth showing the film mentioned in the novel. Although the novel is fiction, it was fun to know it was generated by real people.
I recommend this novel to anyone who likes a good, old-fashioned Christian western romance.
Ada Brownell had her stories published in Sunday school papers and Christian magazines before she discovered if she wanted to send her children to Christian colleges she needed a regular paycheck. She worked as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She continued to freelance and sell to 45 publications. This is her fifth book. You can find out more at www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com.
Elk Lake Publishing, 360 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.