Saturday, July 7, 2012
Sylvia Fisher's beau Elam finally asked her to marry him, but was she ready to give up everything she loved for him. She loves Elam but has spent most of her life helping her father on the dairy farm even to the extent of making suggestions to improve the farm and her father listened to her. Will Elam be willing to let her have an opinion in their marriage or will he expect her to take on the Old Order Amish role of the woman managing a household and raising babies only. When she finds out that Elam signed a contract with her father to take over half of the farm without asking her, it makes her wonder even more what her role would be in their marriage.
When Sylvia takes too long to give him an answer, Elam marries her sister Becky. Sylvia's father won't let her leave the farm so she stays home but after a dangerous incident she demands that he let her leave. She moves to Michael and Dora Blank's dairy farm to help him. Since she's left home her father refuses to let her have any contact with anyone in her family so she soon feels like Michael and Dora are her family.
The Blank's are in desperate need of help since their son Aaron left several months ago and Michael suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. Aaron is an alcoholic, driven to drink by the treatment from his dad after his sister was killed in a freak accident, which they each blames himself for. Aaron gets help for himself and returns home to help his dad and talk his parents into selling the farm. He wants them to help run an Amish appliance store, which he has put money down on to purchase, in three months.
Michael continues to treat Aaron terribly while he accepts the help he is giving them on the farm. Sylvia dislikes Aaron because his plans will ruin her plans to live their and farm, since she feels like she'll never be able to return home again. It is a constant battle, difference of opinions, will any of them ever give in, it seems to be two against one? Will Sylvia ever get to see her parents and sisters again and where will home be for her? When Aaron realizes that Sylvia has become a like a hermit, not going to church, not seeing friends, etc. he forces her to take time off from work which she also resents and thinks he's trying to get her to agree to selling the farm.
Cindy did her usual great job and held my interest and jogged my memory of the first book so I wasn't lost. Sylvia, Michael and Aaron are all three strong willed people with their own plans. I have a lot of family members like that so it hit close to home for me. I read the first book in this series a long time ago, thought I had the second one but discovered I didn't. I plan on going back and reading the second one though. This is a good story about personal struggles and how different personalities deal with them.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BloggingforBooks.org <http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Sophia Makinoff is positive Congressman Montgomery is going to propose to her today. He has arrived at the school where she teaches so she is hurrying to get downstairs to him as all of the students and other teachers are watching. Much to her disappointment, as she nears her destination, he is announcing his engagement to her roommate. She can't stay at school now to face the humiliation so she signs up with the board of Foreign Missions so she can serve in the Far East, like China. Sophia is in for another disappointment when she is assigned to the Ponca Indian Agency in Dakota Territory.
She finally reaches her assignment after a long, fearful trip and teams up with Reverend Henry Granville, his mother Nettie, James Lawrence the government agent and Will Dunn the carpenter. This is the team that is supposed to teach the Ponca Indians to be American. The government is supposed to by paying the Poncas for their land and supplying them with supplies and tools to build homes, plant crops, and educate them. The government is failing to do their part but the Poncas are learning, doing their part. They trust the government until so many promises fall through they are losing their faith in them but with the help of the team their faith in God is getting stronger.
Dakota Territory was not Sophia's choice but she is soon fighting for them. Sophia takes it upon herself to write letters to friends, the school she taught at and her old church for donations so the people will have shoes, socks, clothes and learning materials. She also writes the government letters telling them how they are failing the Poncas.
The letters did more harm than good, it seems she'll have to move on after falling in love with what she's doing and the people she came to help, without completely finishing her job. The whole team is moving on, thanks to the very grumpy Reverend, Sophia has a new job to go to, but her fight for the Poncas doesn't end there. You will have to read the book to get the real story, sad as it is, and how she continues to help them after leaving.
Catherine wrote a story that lets you know how badly the white people, our government, treated the Indians who they promised to pay for their land but fell down so badly on their part. You get a whole new outlook from this perspective. I'm not much of a history person, and I won't say this came as a shock to me, but it does make you stop and think how could anyone treat another human being the way our government treated them.
I enjoyed this book even more because it takes place in areas that I'm familiar with, the Black Hills was a favorite vacation spot of my step-dad's when I was younger. She talks about the Yankton, SD, Sioux City, IA and Omaha, NE as well as the newspapers from those areas, the same one's we have there today. I was raised there so it brought this closer to home for me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”