Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Review - A Home in Drayton Valley

A Home in Drayton Valley
By Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: October 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-0764207884
Pages: 352


I have the majority of Kim Vogel Sawyer's novels, so naturally I was eager to sign up to review her newest book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I'm also a fan of historical novels, so I adored the beautiful cover with the young woman sitting in the grass with the steamboat floating down the river in the background.

Twelve years ago, Tarsie Raines arrived in New York from overseas to start a better life. It is now 1880; the only family she has is her best friend Mary Brubacher and her children. And then there is Mary's good for nothing husband Joss, an alcoholic and gambler. Mary's health is failing and Tarsie helps take care of her and the kids, when she isn't too busy dreaming of moving to Drayton Valley that she read about in James Redpath's Handbook of Kansas.

Joss's gambling debts leads to trouble for them; therefore they must flee the city, along with Tarsie. They travel by wagon, heading to the state of Kansas. Mary's health turns for the worst. Before Mary dies, Tarsie promises to care for her children and help Joss find faith in the Lord.

Their arrival in Kansas wasn't actually what they expected and Joss’s search for work is difficult. Eventually, he finds a job working on a vineyard for Simon, a black Christian.

As Tarsie tries to keep Joss from returning to his sinful ways, she realizes that she is falling in love with him.

With each new novel, Kim Vogel Sawyer surprises me every time with her original plots and flawed characters. Yes, Christianity is a major theme throughout the novel, which may bother some people, but it never felt it was forced upon the reader. Both Tarsie and Mary are likeable character, but I have to admit that I never cared much for Joss. He isn't the nicest husband or father, but the theme of the book is that people can change with faith and support from your family. Overall, A Home in Drayton Valley isn't the author's best outing, but it is still a great read for fans of the author and for the fans of the historical romance genre.

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