Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa’s long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.
Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand–and heart–are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.
Intense, evocative, and laced with intricate historical details that bring the past to life, An Uncommon Woman will transport you to the picturesque and dangerous western Virginia mountains of 1770.
Laura Frantz is one of my favorite authors because of her attention to historical details and her finely crafted romances. My thoughts:
What I liked
Time period/location. Whenever I read a novel by Frantz, I truly feel transported to whatever time or location she is writing. It is the attention to the very smallest of details like food and dress that truly bring the time period to life. This book is no different. Between Clay and Keturah, I felt completely immersed in the frontier.
Keturah. Keturah is an uncommon woman (per the title) for her time. She’s bold and while she’s not completely unafraid, she doesn’t let fear hinder her, but she’s not the delicate woman of the 18th century. Because of where she lives, she cannot afford to be. And yet, she never drifts into becoming a 21st century woman…which has a tendency to happen when authors write women who are a bit ahead of their times. She’s a bit more forward, but she still plays by 18th century rules. Also, let’s not forget the backdrop of Indian raids, the British, Americans trying to move into land that’s not theirs….there is a lot of tension in this book that Keturah has to navigate. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was expecting trouble around every corner.
Clay. I liked Clay. Clay’s past has made him into almost two people. He may be white, but he has spent a large part of his youth with the Lenape. It was interesting to see him view situations through both lenses. He’s easily a character that you trust and like.
The plot. This book is definitely more character focused than plot driven. There are a lot of dynamics here as people grapple with life on the frontier. Even though the novel doesn’t have that fast-paced, TV vibe, something is always happening in this book to keep you turning the pages.
The romance. It wasn’t complicated. I enjoyed watching Clay and Keturah dance around each other. I thought it felt realistic to who they were.
Spiritually, the characters pray and learn to trust God.
What I didn’t like
To a degree, Frantz has played with the issues raised in this time period before: Native Americans vs. whites, the American push into the West, white captives and the aftermath thereof. But she does it so well. It’s like looking at the same picture through a different lense. So, I said that to say that if her other novels were not your jam, you might be a bit bored with this one, but if you enjoy being pulled into this part of history, you’ll love it.
The blurb on the back of the book. Let’s just say that it had me looking for something that was a small part of the book.
Also, the ending felt a bit rushed.
Romantic scale: 8
Overall, it was lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn’t want to put it down.
**I received a copy from Revell. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**