by Jane Peart
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan (July 2, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310412919
- ISBN-13: 978-0310412915
My Rating: 4.0
Product Description:Review: This isn’t so much a romance as it is a tale of a brave, if reluctant, pioneer woman.
Penny Sayres' red hair, freckle-splashed skin, and fierce independence drew the attention of some of the region's most eligible bachelors. One by one, they've been disappointed -- because romance and marriage are the last things on Penny's mind! Since her childhood, she has sensed an unknown destiny beckoning from the horizon. When Penny's brother, Brad, invites her to join his family on their wagon train to California, Penny's dream of adventure comes true. The Oregon trail, with its promise of a distant land, sweeps her into a world of fascinating new sights and sounds. It's an exciting time for Penny and her newfound friend, Nell, who shares Penny's zest for the unknown. The trail is long, the journey often grueling, and, as happens when strangers travel together, tempers sometimes flare. Still, it looks like the train will reach its destination without event -- that is, until disaster strikes at Snake River and changes Penny's life forever. Little does Penny realize that God is about to set her on her greatest adventure yet -- one that includes a new dream and lasting love.
Penny wants something more out of life than marriage. Besides, none of the men she has met in her small town in Missouri hold any interest for her. In fact, one of them, Jeremiah, is aggressive and pushy and she seeks to avoid him whenever she can.
When an enthusiastic missionary comes to town, Penny’s brother, Brad, is all excited about going to the Western Territories. Brad’s wife, Thea, who is Penny’s best friend, is a timid woman but she adores her husband and will do everything to support him. Brad and Thea want Penny to come along to help out with their two year old daughter, Belinda. Also, Thea shares with Penny that she is pregnant but she doesn’t want to tell Brad as he would delay their trip. Although Penny is reluctant to leave her beloved Grams, she is excited about the adventure ahead.
The author gives wonderful insight into the preparation and weeding out of belongings as they are limited in space and weight. The trail can be hard, lonely and frightening. Penny and Thea make friends with an older woman, Nelldean, and her grandson, Nate. To Penny’s dismay, her pushy suitor, Jeremiah, joins the group with his new wife who he keeps isolated.
The wagon train faces hardships, danger and tragedy. Before they reach California, disaster and heartache strike Penny’s family and she has to face the future with the help of her new friends, Nelldean and Nate. Penny had already shown her strength and merit on the trail and now she will show great fortitude and independence as she finds a means of support and begins a new life. And although she wasn’t dreaming of a man and a family, it looks like God may have other plans for her.
I enjoyed the strong faith foundation that sustained Grams, Penny and Nelldean in slightly different, but all strong, ways. The pioneer history was wonderfully described in all of its harshness, beauty, fear, excitement, danger and comraderie. The images made my book club friends and me stop and think what it would have been like to be part of a wagon train. This is a light, quick read that is enjoyable for its easy flow and historical details.
###Learn more about this author and her many books by visiting the Goodread's page for this author or the Fantastic Fiction page.
This is an alternate cover.
I happened to find this book on sale at Amazon last spring and thought it would be a nice, light read for the ladies in my church book club. I'm glad I picked it up as the prices now are high.
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