On the Oregon Trail, the young, newly-widowed missionary Grace Martindale doesn’t have the time, or desire, to mourn her deceased husband. Instead, she, her two sisters, and their caravan of settlers heading for Oregon must focus on the rising tensions with the local Indian tribes, and the outbreak of measles that hits both groups—settlers and natives—as they reach their post at the Whitman Mission. There, Grace utilizes her healing skills on the sick and confronts her fear of Indians, tasks in which trapper Alexander Armistead proves helpful. After a rough introduction romance sparks, but as Grace’s feelings begin to grow Alexander’s troubled past threatens their future. When another disaster strikes the mission, Alex, Grace, and her sisters are thrust into a journey through pain, doubt, and grief to healing. Peterson (Sapphire Brides series) powerfully depicts the challenges of life in the 19th-century American West, including a realistic picture of Indian-American relations. The girls’ faith plays a prominent role—not only in their missionary work, but in how they recover from the trauma of the measles outbreak—and readers are treated to a clear gospel presentation arising from the characters’ travails. In the end, the journey of faith and healing carries more weight than the romance does, shining spiritual hope onto worldly suffering. Fans of Peterson will welcome this opening story to the new Heart of the Frontier series. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2017 Release date: 02/01/2017 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.