Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Book Review: Wilted Dandelions

From Amazon: 

The Second Great Awakening has stirred a young woman’s soul. High-spirited Rachael Rothburn is eager to leave her luxurious life in Buffalo, New York, to share the gospel with Native Americans in the Oregon Territory. But the missionary alliance requires their missionaries to be married and Rachael has no husband or suitors. When Dr. Jonathan Wheaton, another missionary hopeful, learns about the restriction, he is desperate to find a wife. He offers Rachael a marriage of convenience and she agrees. After a hasty wedding the pair sets off for the west knowing little about each other. Together they battle raging rivers, hostile Indians, sickness, treacherous mountain trails, and more. But as the seeds of love begin to grow, Jonathan’s jealousy and pride threaten to be an even greater danger than anything they find in the west. Can they overcome the challenges and discover a true and lasting love?

My Review:
Wilted Dandelions, by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield, is not just another historical Christian romance, but also an adventure. Rachael Rothburn, the daughter of a US senator in New York desires more than anything to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the Umatilla tribe of Oregon territory. Fired up by a revival meeting, all the determined Rachael needs is a husband, to be allowed to join the mission.

She is charmed by Dr. Jonathan Wheaton, but barely hopes he would marry her, let alone ever love her. To her surprise, he asks her father for her hand.

When these two stubborn people embark on a marriage of convenience and take a dangerous journey west, they must learn to rely on Jesus Christ and each other, but jealousies and doubts sometimes get in the way.

While Rachael and Jonathan are people of immense faith in Christ, they are also genuinely flawed characters, who make mistakes like any believer. The dangers they face along the trail, even threats of human trafficking, are plenty and realistic. They will keep you turning the pages to see how each situation resolves.

Wilted Dandelions is a story that exemplifies the importance of the Biblical values of trust, honesty, and sacrificial love in a marriage. You will cheer for Rachael and Jonathan to overcome their shortcomings and hope they will learn from their mistakes.

Brakefield paints a picture of westward travel in the 1830s with a rich, poetic palette of historical detail. The author’s equestrian knowledge shows through as she details the care of horses, their strength, and resiliency on this perilous journey.

If you’re looking for a well-written, high-tension Christian romance and adventure set against the backdrop of America’s Second Great Awakening, then this book is for you.


Patty said...

This sounds just like The Docotor's Lady by Jody Hedlund. I know it was based on actual people, so maybe it is a retelling of the same story?

Kathleen Rouser said...

Patty, thank you for stopping by. I believe Catherine Brakefield's main characters are
completely fictional, but based around events that were the result of the Second
Great Awakening. That being said, I don't believe it's the same story. I will let
her know of your question, though, in case I'm wrong!

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield said...

Hi Patty, No Wilted Dandelions is not the retelling of The Doctor's Lady. I never read or heard of the book until you mentioned it. The most important element of Wilted Dandelions is that God doesn't create coincidences--He designs possibilities. Based upon historical facts, for instance the Second Great Awakening started in 1802 in Kentucky, and France decided to sell their land west of the Mississippi River to USA in 1803, a coincidence? I don't think so. This great nation of ours is founded upon Jesus Christ. Rachael comes to realize that Jonathan didn't just happen along. Yes, God has a purpose for each and every one of us, we just have to have faith and keep our eyes upon our loving Savior. God Bless!

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