From the beloved author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Courting Morrow Little comes a new Kentucky novel…On the vast, uncharted Kentucky frontier of the 1770s, Temperance Tucker has learned to be fleet of foot, accurate with her rifle, and silent about the past. But her family secrets complicate her growing attraction to a handsome Virginia land surveyor with a harsh history of his own. Will the hurts and hardships of the past prevent them from a fulfilling future?
Laura Frantz is a wonderful author. She has a real talent for interweaving historical facts and events into a narrative effortlessly. I would argue that first she writes historical fiction and everything after that is secondary. My thoughts:
What I liked
History. I’ve mentioned this before, but Frantz is able to teach me about the Kentucky frontier of the 1770s without having me feel like I’m being taught. When I read her novels I do not skip paragraphs of facts, I slow down to take them all in because if she places it in her novel than it is important to the narrative that she is writing. This book is no different.
Sion. He’s one of those heroes you can trust. You know he’s going to make wise decisions and if, for some reason he doesn’t, he’s going to go back and fix it. Frantz made me trust him.
Temperance. I loved Temperance. She’s strong and capable and unafraid in a time where women weren’t considered such. I especially love that she manages to still come off as a woman of her time, even as she proves that she is able to survive on her own.
Relationships. There are layers and layers of relationships in this novel and uncovering each one was like tasting a different layer of a cake. It was rich and rewarding.
Diversity. I always appreciate novels that show more than one culture in a novel. I especially love it when the people of that culture are presented as complex individuals as opposed to being painted with one brush.
Spiritually, the novel deals with learning to trust God in the midst of grief and bad things happening. Heavy topics, but well worth reading.
What I Didn’t Like:
Pacing. It felt like I spent a good portion of the book waiting for it to start. I kind of wish the novel had skipped the first 35%.
Romance. Okay, Frantz usually shines in the romance department for me, but it didn’t work for me this time. The problem is that both of the main characters are hung up on other people…so much so, that I failed to notice when they started noticing each other. There were obvious moments where they were fascinated with each other, but I was so convinced of their love for other people, I wasn’t sure when they fell in love with each other.
The Last of the Mohicans. I don’t know if you’ve seen this movie, but I’ve seen this movie and this book very much reminded me of this movie. For me personally, after viewing this movie a few things stood out: there were parts I liked, parts I wish I could unsee, and at the end I was very confused as to the point (other than that life on the American frontier in the 1700s was hard). These thoughts were running through my mind.
Romantic scale: 8
Overall, this is not a bad book. Let me make that clear. Once I started this book, I did not put it down. It just isn’t one of my favorites by this author.
**I received a copy from Revell. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**