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?
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.