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Posted January 29, 2012
The author pulled me into this story with the first few pages of the book. She started the book out in Jan 1888 giving us a glimpse of something that happened, something that propelled me to read the book as quickly as I could to figure out the why and how of what she described in the opening pages. Once she gives us a glimpse of Jan 1888 then she takes us back seventeen months to allow us to see how a family goes from living the life of luxury to becoming homesteaders living in a Soddy.
Jem Perkins was used to living a life of ease. She had always had someone to take care of her every need. When she married her husband Seth her father even provided a nice house for them.Seth who was in the Army learns something about Jem's father, something that might land him in jail, and costs Seth his position in the army. Seth knows that Jem's father will have to sell everything to make amends for what he has done which means Jem and Seth will no longer have a place to live, so Seth takes their savings and decides they will become homesteaders out west. Jem, who had never cooked or kept house now has to become a pioneer lady and learn to do all these things. Can Jem every manage?
I really loved this story. I loved seeing Jem grow and change. She was such a remarkable person, and withstood many trials. Her faith became a real part of her life. I liked Seth's character as well, but often felt like he was a bit hard on Jem. The author left a few loose ends with this story, which really has me hoping for a sequel.
Fans of historical fiction are going to devour this story. Amazing characters, and a fast moving plot filled with the ups and downs of homesteading life was very touching and emotionally moving. Add to this an inspirational message of perseverance and it makes for a story that I just couldn't stop reading. I will certainly be watching for more from this author!
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Posted January 25, 2012
Once I started this book I could not put it down...it is a very fast lingering read. It is a well researched based on fact book...so you better have the tissues ready.
The story starts at the beginning of the Perkins marriage, Jemima, Seth and baby Charlie. Life is good for Jem, she has it all a beautiful baby, a handsome husband, a great home and servants. Her father has set her up by giving them their house. She is a spoiled woman, very unprepared for what is about to happen to her.
Because of some scandal involving Jem's father, Seth has left the military and is moving his his family to the prairie of Nebraska. They stop for the winter in Kansas and stay with his old friend William and his wife Susan and their family. What a shock for Jem...she is rude and quite unaccepting of her circumstances. She is literaly forced into accepting the role of a wife on the prairie. You will feel sorry for her...she sure hadn't planned on a life of this nature.
Actually it turned into a good lesson for Jem, and helps prepare her for what is to to come. I loved the faith shown in this book. Hard to accept all that happens here, but you see God helping them. You will get lost here, and am glad to know that some of my questions are going to be answered in the next book..or two??
I received this book from First Wild Card Tours and the author Naomi Dathan, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted January 21, 2012
This story offers a glimpse into how hard life was (and still is to a great degree) in the west, and brings to light the story of the Children's Blizzard, which took place in January 1888.
Hot, scorching summers and brutal and unpredictable winters, the land is unforgiving and only the most stalwart individuals can survive. What chance do a couple of city folk stand?
Seth is a good man, brave and strong. Fair and ethical. He’s been a good provider for his family, a good father to his son, if a bit estranged from his wife.
Jemima has been raised a spoiled daughter and is now a somewhat indulged wife.
Jem and Seth married "liking" one another, "lusting" after one another, and perhaps even "loving" one another, but they didn't really know one another and weren't friends. Seth is with the military and has been gone traveling much of their marriage. Jem has been coddled and indulged by her father, who lives nearby and gave Seth and Jem the house that they live in with their infant son Charley.
Life takes a turn, and Seth chooses to move the family out West to become homesteaders in Nebraska. They know that life will be tough, but Seth seems to underestimate just how hard things can get.
In the beginning, Jem is spoiled, selfish and annoying. She isn't very likable by any means, often using tears to get her way with the men in her life. But the more that life throws at the family, the more Jem rises to the occasion.
My greatest disappointment with this story and the characters was Seth. I was disappointed that he only saw Jem for who she had been, and did not acknowledge the amazing woman that she had become. She showed herself in many circumstances to perhaps be even stronger and tougher than Seth.
My final word: This was a lovely story, and it really held me throughout. I kept wondering what was going to happen next? Would they survive the West? Would they find their way back to each other? Would life cast them a lifeline? I've been interested in the past with the Children's Blizzard, and this was a nice introduction to it. Tragic and stirring, leading you through the story with little drops of hope like Gretel's trail of breadcrumbs, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a moving story that can touch your soul.
Posted December 19, 2011
Jemima and Seth, with their son Charlie, leave the comforts of home to settle on a Nebraska farm. Jem left a spoiled young lady. But prairie life has a way maturing people very quickly. Jem has to choose whether she's going to stick by her husband and go where he goes, or choose to go home to her dad.
This book was very well written, although heartbreaking at times. It's so easy to sit in my comfortable chair and read about the harshness of life in the 1800s. But to imagine losing a loved one because of a storm or having to chose whether to stay at the farm or move back to town that has nothing for you. Many people chose to stay, but quite a few just couldn't handle the stresses and constant worry.
The slight negatives - Jem's complaining and Seth's unbending and refusing to discuss things really got on my nerves. Although I'm sure it's a true rendition of many marriages it was grating.
It's a good book and I'll certainly be checking out the authors other books.
I received this book free of charge from Logos in exchange for my honest review.