Sophia has her life all planned outbut her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.
Sophia Makinoff is certain 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.
With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never knownand never expectedand ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.
It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When US policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist until a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelists critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.
Read an Excerpt
THROUGH RUSHING WATER
By CATHERINE RICHMOND
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Catherine Richmond
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSophia Makinoff had the perfect job.
Her students were brilliant, conscientious, and far too well bred to consider cheating on an examination. Sophia could, without impunity, allow her attention to drift. She opened the window with a gentle push. A breath of air, damp with a hint of this morning's rain and spiced with blooming lilacs, relieved the chalk-dust stuffiness of the classroom. Two flights below, a brisk clip-clip indicated a gardener neatening a hedge. From a distant music room came the strains of a Mozart sonata.
Behind Sophia, a student sighed.
The view was dominated by the east wing of the College, with its basement laundry, first-floor dining hall, and second-floor chapel, providing cleanliness, sustenance, and godliness. Across the lawn, a gasometer fueled lights throughout the College. To the southeast stood the gymnasium where Sophia had practiced calisthenics and learned the pastime of bowling, a game similar to the nine pins her father played at the garrison. She had walked the paths, attended lectures and concerts, visited the art gallery. But she had not left campus since Christmas.
Behind her, a petticoat rustled.
Above the trees the cupola of Montgomery Hill glowed, a light to the world. On days like this Sophia would serve tea on the veranda for diplomats and captains of industry, addressing topics from immigration to workers' rights. In the front parlor she would hold a salon as lively as any in Paris, discussing justice, reform, and an end to corruption in government.
Since the election of Rexford Montgomery to Congress, Sophia had made a regular practice of reading the newspapers. She could converse intelligently on subjects as varied as the Boss Tweed and William Belknap scandals, or the Grange Movement and Civil Rights.
Now if only New York's youngest congressman would—"Mademoiselle?"
Sophia bumped her head against the window frame. "Oui, Elizabeth?"
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Are you all right?"
"But of course. With this much hair I am immune to injury." She patted her chignon. "How may I assist you?"
"J'ai finie." The student handed over her examination, then leaned toward the window. "Was there something outside?"
Something? Only a world in need of saving. Sophia cited the College's doctor: "Fresh air strengthens the constitution."
The bell rang. The rest of the students turned in their tests and hurried off. They were all involved in planning a celebration of the US centennial. Sophia, however, was making other plans.
Rexford had been hinting all month. Last week he had mentioned the importance of spiritual compatibility to the marital partnership. She took the reference as a positive sign; they were members of the same church.
The geography teacher blocked the doorway with his corpulence and tweed. "Guest speaker in chapel tonight. From the Board of Foreign Missions. Interested?"
"Unfortunately I have another obligation this evening."
"Blasted Montgomery." His lower lip returned to its bulldog position and he let her slip by. His attempts at courting would cease once her engagement was announced. In the meantime it took all Sophia's restraint to keep from shouting from the rooftops: "I am to be the wife of a congressman!"
She hurried to the suite she shared with one of the English teachers. The parlor was empty. In the bedroom, chemises and camisoles hung from Annabelle's open drawers. Ribbons, lace, and jewelry lay scattered across the bureau. A stocking was draped like a silk bookmark over the open dictionary.
If the matron saw this, she would undoubtedly launch into her favorite lecture: the importance of housekeeping, setting an example for the students, doing one's best in this grand experiment in female education.
Whimpering and sniffling would ensue. Annabelle was easily undone.
Where was she? Surely she couldn't have forgotten they were dining with Rexford Montgomery.
Sophia exchanged her violet muslin polonaise for a satin dinner dress in sapphire that played up her eyes. The square neckline and Marie-Antoinette sleeves framed her gold necklace and bracelet, family heirlooms from her mother's side. The removal of a hairpin allowed a curl to corkscrew down her back.
The riding instructor awaited her in the corridor. He bowed. "Mademoiselle." The baron fancied them two of a kind, even though her father's title had been awarded, not inherited.
"Good evening, Baron."
"It is a beautiful evening for a ride, is it not? I could saddle Schatze for you."
"Regrettably I am otherwise occupied. You are too kind." And too persistent. Could he not see she was dressed for an entirely different activity than riding? "Please excuse me."
"That Montgomery gent again?"
Such questions did not merit a response. He and the entire College would know soon enough.
Sophia hurried to the south wing, to the apartment of Professor Montgomery, and knocked. Her intended would answer the door with an armful of roses, then drop to one knee. No, he could not take her hand if his were full of flowers. The roses would be in a vase on the table. He would speak poetically and she would say yes.
But first he had to open the door.
Sophia listened for footsteps on the carpet. Silence. She rapped with a trifle more authority, but no one answered.
Perhaps he had been detained and left a message. She would inquire at the clerk's office on the first floor.
She headed for the main stairs, where she found her way blocked by a milling crowd of students and faculty. Sophia leaned over the balcony rail. Below, in the entrance vestibule, Congressman Montgomery addressed an assembly of faculty and students.
"... since you welcomed me within the bosom of this institution of female education ..."
Sophia winced at his unfortunate juxtaposition of the words "bosom" and "female."
"... the most worthiest of women ..."
Oh dear. She must take up the task of polishing his speeches, lest his orations sink under the weight of florid sentimentality and improper grammar.
"Shouldn't you go down?" the Latin teacher whispered.
Yes, it would be wise to put the man out of his misery.
"... whose grace and wit thoroughly enchanted me ..."
The biology teacher glimpsed her pushing through and directed the students to clear a path. With a swish of petticoats and urgent whispers, the way opened.
"Félicitations, Mademoiselle Makinoff," someone murmured. "I'm so happy for you."
Sophia arrived at the base of the steps as the congressman reached the end of his address.
"May I introduce the woman destined to become Mrs. Rexford Montgomery—"
Sophia took a deep breath, pasted a smile on her face, and stepped forward into the vast, empty space around Congressman Montgomery.
"Miss Annabelle Bedlington Smith."
Too late. At that exact moment his fiancée stepped from the reception room into his waiting arms.
Gasps, murmurs, and giggles echoed around the hall.
In that weighted fraction of a second, as the blood rushed to her face, Sophia considered her options: retreat through the pitying crowd, stand and be the object of more pity, or move forward with all the poise expected of a graduate of St. Petersburg's Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens.
Momentum propelled her across the floor. Decorum and a tight corset kept her upright. "Let me be the first to congratulate you."
"Dearest!" Annabelle embraced her in an eye-watering cloud of perfume. "You'll never believe what happened! Rex proposed!"
Annabelle was right: Sophia did not believe it.
Annabelle Bedlington Smith did not meet a single one of Rexford Montgomery's requirements for a wife. She had no interest in government, spoke no foreign languages, hated travel. She never read the Bible, rarely attended church, and, in fact, dabbled in phrenology. And she was far too careless to run a house the size of Montgomery Hill.
Montgomery Hill. Sophia's breath caught. No carriage rides ending in the porte cochère. No arranging flowers on the sideboard. No receiving the movers and shakers of this world.
Sophia pressed her fist to her lips and glanced over her roommate's head. The man knew better than to meet her eye. He looked down at Annabelle and his chin disappeared into his neck.
A weak jaw. Quelle horreur. How had she missed that?
"Oh, you're speechless! He surprised me too." Were those diamonds swirling around Annabelle's finger, or was Sophia dizzy? "Let's go to supper, dearest. We have so much to talk about."
Like engagement dinners and wedding dates. Trousseaux and bouquets. Receptions and honeymoon trips. Chaos in Annabelle's inept hands.
"I am sorry. I was coming to tell you, we have a speaker in the chapel and I must ... my presence is required."
"I hope they don't need you to interpret, dearest. You know what a headache that gives you."
"I never get headaches." Until now. "Please excuse me."
But Annabelle would not release her. "Wait, dearest. I'm going to need a bridesmaid. Would you do me the honor?"
Exile to Siberia would be preferable. "Perhaps you should consult your sisters."
"Oh, of course! How could I forget!" She turned to Rexford. "I have three sisters."
Sophia made her escape. She moved rapidly up two flights to the chapel. Her hand pressed her heart, finding it bruised but not broken.
Rexford had made his choice. The suffering was his.
The geography professor cheered—or was it jeered?—when he spotted her. "Montgomery jilted you, did he?"
As the news of Annabelle's engagement made its way through the College, she was in for weeks of hand-patting, tepid tea, and quel dommage. Sophia lifted her chin and turned to the lady principal. "How may I assist you?"
The principal assigned her to serve refreshments. The rhythm of pouring and passing offered a certain kind of solace. Just before the hour, students filed into the pews. Sophia perched on the back row, awaiting an opportunity to slip away.
The speaker, an elderly woman dressed head-to-toe in gray, had served as a missionary to the heathens in China. Spiritual and physical poverty beset the land. The men were bedeviled with opium. The women had their feet bound.
Annabelle's feet were no bigger than those of a child. So much about her was childlike ... or more accurately, childish. How would she manage, with her flights of fancy, to conduct a dinner party for twelve? She would never command the respect necessary to manage a household staff the size of Montgomery Hill.
"'Study to show thyself approved unto God,'" the missionary quoted. "My daughters, students of the College, have you studied to be approved?" She stared right at Sophia.
No, she had not. She had studied to please Rexford Montgomery, had studied to be mistress of Montgomery Hill. And all along he had thought of her not as a prospective bride, but merely as a convenient chaperone for Annabelle.
How foolish to look to a man for approval.
"How will they know lest we tell them?" the missionary went on. "Someone must share the Good News. Someone must speak the truth."
The truth. Pravda. Sophia's father always spoke the truth. His military advice had earned him a place close to the tsar. Alexander had even listened to Father's advice on freeing the serfs. But when the tsar took Sophia's classmate as his mistress, the truth endangered her father's life.
The missionary continued. "How many Chinese will be consumed by hell's fire, because you would not leave your hearth fire? How many Chinese will die in ignorance and darkness because you were too afraid of the unknown? What will you give, out of your comfortable life, so that another may live?"
Sophia was the daughter of Constantin Ilia Makinoff, Master of the Horse Guards and Speaker of Truth, may he rest in peace. She was not afraid. She would speak the truth.
Her back straightened, resisting the lure of repose. Perhaps her work would not be so earthshaking as her father's, but it might be more meaningful than teaching wealthy young women to better themselves with French.
And might she accomplish more as a missionary than as a congressman's wife?
"Who among you," the speaker continued, "is ready to go where the Lord sends? Who is willing to give up her life of ease for the rigors of mission work?"
China bordered Russia. Sophia could serve out her term, then return home. Surely the tsar would have forgotten her father's denouncement by then. Surely he did not blame Sophia. He was nearly her father's age; he, too, might die.
Besides, what other choice did she have? Stay and watch Annabelle take her place at Montgomery Hill? Unthinkable.
The speaker raised her arms and her voice. "Who will go?"
For the second time that day, Sophia stepped forward.
Chapter TwoThe steam engine banged to life. Chains rattled and the stern-wheeler creaked ominously. The boat jerked, throwing Sophia off the bunk. Muttering imprecations that would discredit her both as a missionary and as a lady, she opened her eyes. Dim light from the window announced the sun had begun its rise. Further attempts at sleep would be futile.
Sophia pushed upright. Her valise and Catharine Beecher's Educational Reminiscences and Suggestions were still wedged against the door with its broken bolt. She pried her hairbrush, a poor substitute for a weapon, from her clenched fist. At the College, she had never locked her door. And now on this boat full of crude and dangerous men— Enough. Better a hundred sleepless nights than one more word from Annabelle about her wedding.
She peered through the curtain. A haze of humidity blanketed a mud-choked river. Misshapen trees, like those securing the boat last night, stippled eroded riverbanks.
Did her prayer book have a confession for impetuousness and rash decisions?
If she had been patient, or tolerant, or even deaf to Annabelle's constant babbling, Sophia might have waited for the Mission Board to send her to China. Instead she had accepted their first assignment, and now, less than a week later, here she was in the Dakota Territory.
The frontier would offer no opportunity to be a woman of influence. Perhaps God was disciplining her for her ambition to marry a congressman.
Very well then, she had learned her lesson. God could recall her from the Wild West and send her to China anytime.
At the tiny washstand Sophia poured water from an ironstone pitcher onto a cloth too thin to be called a towel, and washed the unclothed parts of her bruised and insect-bitten body. Considering the heat and humidity, the effort was woefully inadequate. She pinned a sachet to her neckline and consoled herself with the thought that she was not the worst-smelling person on the Benton IV. Unfortunately there was plenty of competition.
She gave herself a shake. "Think on whatsoever things are lovely ..." or however that verse went. She must work harder for God's approval or she'd never be called as a missionary to China. Morning prayers would be appropriate.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
What came next? Unfortunately she had packed her prayer book. How could she forget the prayer that began every morning of her twenty-eight years?
Sophia retied her corset, buttoned her skirt, and attempted to smooth out the wrinkles. She had altered her navy dress, turning the bustle into a pleat so that it would fit the confines of a rail car and stateroom. But she never imagined herself sleeping in it.
With a sigh of frustration, Sophia swept her hair into a knot and tied on a straw hat. Armed with Miss Beecher's book, she made a foray into the thankfully deserted dining salon. She managed to consume most of her biscuit and tea and read three pages before her peace was invaded.
An officer, whose mustache would do a Cossack proud, clomped in on mud-caked cavalry boots. "How do, ma'am?"
Sophia gave a pointed stare at the black felt flopping on his head. He snatched it off, revealing matted blond waves. Could this be the famous General Custer?
Sophia extended her hand. "Miss Makinoff."
"Lieutenant George Higgins, at your service." He piled a plate with ham, biscuits, and gravy, and poured coffee into a chipped mug. "So where you hail from?"
Sophia never knew how to answer the question. Russia? France? "Lately, New York."
He tilted his head, studying her as if she were an exotic species in a museum. "New York, eh? You one of those society ladies taking tea with Mrs. Astor?"
Excerpted from THROUGH RUSHING WATER by CATHERINE RICHMOND Copyright © 2012 by Catherine Richmond. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Through Rushing Water by Catherine Richmond tells the story of the Ponca Native Americans through the eyes of Sophia Makinoff and Will Dunn. It is anything but a trite love story. Richmond has taken an ignored segment of American history and woven a rich tapestry of the lives of those who were affected by government policies and those who cared about the Ponca because they engaged themselves in their life and culture. Sophia arrives as a missionary to the Poncas following a crushing personal relationship. It is here that she meets Will, Nettie, Henry, and James. Her introduction to the people she has come to minister to proves to be challenging. But Sophia will not be deterred. Before long her life and heart is engaged with the Ponca children she teaches and their families, who are unfairly treated by government agents and those in power who care little for their struggle for survival. Will admires Sophia but doesn’t believe he will ever capture her attention, let alone her heart. Richmond’s storytelling draws the reader into the plight of the Ponca’s. You can’t help but want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Sophia and Will as they ward off the Brule, the Agency representatives, and anyone else who wants to interfere with the Poncas. Standing Bear’s speech in the epilogue is magnificent. Sophia and Will, Standing Bear, Julia, Bear Shield, Nettie, Susette, Brown Eagle and Mary, Rosalie, and others will remain in your thoughts for many a day after you read the last word and close the back cover on this written work. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Inspirational One of the things I enjoyed so much about this book was how easy it was to relate to the characters. Sophia starts off a little proud and overly sure of herself and what her life will hold. Working with the Indians makes her feel . . . small and insignificant. She sees so much need and doesn't know how she can make a dent in the problems. Many of us can relate to these feelings. Ignoring the rushing water is a concept I hope I never forget. The conditions for the Indians made my heart break. The fascinating thing was how positive they were most of the time -- and how grateful for every small thing they were given. Instead of sitting around and complaining, they worked to try and make their situation better, take care of each other, and preserve their culture while still learning new things to better cope in their changed world. This was a very inspirational book and I want to thank the publisher for providing my copy. It in no way influenced my review.
I so enjoyed Catherine Richmond's Spring for Susannah that I really wanted to read her next book...and it does not disappoint!We begin with Sophia Makinoff teaching at girls college, and convinced she is about to marry a new Congressman. When things don't turn out as planned she attends a Missionary Meeting and immediately signs up...thinking she is going to China. Again things don't turn out as she has planned and we find her in South Dakota at Ponca Indian Agency where she will teach. What turns out for her to be a disappointment soon turns into a blessing.Willoughby Dunn or Will [the carpenter] Nettie and Henry Granville[Mom and son [Rev] and James Lawrence[the Indian Agent]. These are the people that Sophia will be spending her time with, along with the Indian children and adults.Will turns out to be such a blessing...he turns discards into something usable...like a dipper for the children to drink their water from using tin cans. Nettie does the cooking, and becomes a dear friend to Sophia.Unfortunately the story is based on actual fact...and I find it heartbreaking.Come along and experience some of the History in the making of our Country, you will easily get lost in this book. We may not agree with what happens to these innocent people, but it brings to light the facts.I received this book through Netgalley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
Can't say I was thrilled , but the book is ok.
Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim. This book draws you in from the very first page - you are routing for Sophia, you are heartbroken when her original plans for marriage go wrong, and you cheer for her as she falls in love with her new life as a missionary and the people she's trying so desperately hard to protect. It's full of heartbreak and sorrow, and you can't help but cheer for the Poncas, when something good goes there way - like shoes for the children for the winter, and you can't help but cry when they begin to starve. For me, it was difficult to read these passages because you know how badly the Native American tribes were treated and you know just how many died because of starvation, hunger, cold, disease, etc. The story, for me, first and foremost is the story of the Poncas, a tribe I had never heard of before, but it's also the love story between Sophia and Will, another missionary bent on trying to save the small tribe. I received a copy of this book for review through the Book Sneeze blogging for books program.
I love historical fiction, and definitely enjoyed and appreciated this novel! I will say, however, that I felt there were some very contemporary themes and ideas being imposed on these historic characters and it was, for me, a bit distracting. For example, (SPOILER ALERT!) a woman entering her 30's and *just beginning* married/family life is nothing uncommon today, but was not the norm of the 19th century by any means. I'm sure it did happen from time-to-time, but the main character is presented as both youthful and alluring to many men, approaching an age at which many women of that time were nearing grandmother-hood. Furthermore, the same character's thoughts reveal that she believes one of her teenage students is too young to become a wife; not a likely train of thought in the 1870's. I understand that she is meant to be forward-thinking, but there has to be a degree of reality as well; here is a woman who greatly enjoys teaching, but inevitably would have had to give it up to marry, and yet we never see that enter her thought process. Certainly contemporary readers may find some historical ideas of womanhood disconcerting, but I just felt that our 19th century heroine behaved a little too much like our ideas of a 21st century heroine. That aside, I would and do recommend this novel to friends and family.
"Ignore the rushing water.....Ignore everything that tries to pull you under or knock your feet out, or obscures your view. Plant your feet on the solid rock." When I started reading this, I felt like it was going to be a sappy love story and, sighing, I settled in for the ride. But, I ended up being wrong. Some might say that there wasn't enough romance, but I enjoyed the tale of Sophia and Will defending and providing for the Indians. All the characters were enchanting; with their determination,protective-nature, and even some of the characters' rotten characteristics. Richmond knows how to draw emotions out of you in a way that plants you in the character's shoes, showering you with their emotions. I loved that the author focused on the plot and occurring events on the reservation and not just centering on Will and Sophia's romantic relationship. The plot was very intriguing, giving you a glimpse into what the Indian reservation was like. Recommended to anyone who loves a historical romance on the reservation. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Catherine Richmond in her new book, “Through Rushing Water” published by Thomas Nelson takes us to the Dakota Territory in 1876. From the back cover: Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory. Sophia Makinoff is certain 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim. With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve. It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When US policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny. Sophia Makinoff, of Russian descent, grew up in America and became a teacher. When her dreams of marriage are shattered she signs up for missions work and is sent to the Dakota Territory. As she teaches the Ponca tribe children she falls in love with them and sees their need. Sophia teams up with Willoughby Dunn to stop the stealing of their land. Together these two make a stand through rushing water standing on the Rock of God. This is an exciting story even though there are no runaway stage coaches, no train robberies or take overs of the town by evil gunmen. Just one couple against evil men who want to steal the Indian land and force them to march hundreds of miles in the dead of winter. Ms. Richmond gives us wonderful characters that we care for and root for and shows us a dark period in American history. This is a wonderful read and I recommend it highly. Looking forward to more from Catherine Richmond If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I so enjoyed Catherine Richmond's Spring for Susannah that I really wanted to read her next book...and it does not disappoint! We begin with Sophia Makinoff teaching at girls college, and convinced she is about to marry a new Congressman. When things don't turn out as planned she attends a Missionary Meeting and immediately signs up...thinking she is going to China. Again things don't turn out as she has planned and we find her in South Dakota at Ponca Indian Agency where she will teach. What turns out for her to be a disappointment soon turns into a blessing. Willoughby Dunn or Will [the carpenter] Nettie and Henry Granville[Mom and son [Rev] and James Lawrence[the Indian Agent]. These are the people that Sophia will be spending her time with, along with the Indian children and adults. Will turns out to be such a blessing...he turns discards into something usable...like a dipper for the children to drink their water from using tin cans. Nettie does the cooking, and becomes a dear friend to Sophia. Unfortunately the story is based on actual fact...and I find it heartbreaking. Come along and experience some of the History in the making of our Country, you will easily get lost in this book. We may not agree with what happens to these innocent people, but it brings to light the facts. I received this book through Netgalley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
1876 in the Dakota Territory. In 1876 Sophia Makinoff is teaching at a college and is soon to be engaged to a U.S.Congressman. To be the wife or even fiancee was just a fabrication of her own making. Congressman Montgomery chose her roommate and friend instead of her. Annabelle a complete and utter mistake for the wife to a U.S.Congressman when everyone knew Sophia would have been the best choice. How would she face her students and faculty? She was utterly humiliated. She decides to volunteer to be a missionary in the far east. But instead she is assigned as teacher to the children of Ponca Indian Agency in the Dakota Territory. She had every intention in requesting to be re-assigned to the far east rather than stay in Dakota Territory. It does not take long for her to fall in love with the Ponca Indians especially the children she is teaching. She knew this was the mission God had meant for her to serve. Willoughby Dunn was the agency carpenter and also loved the Poncas. He had appointed himself as protector to the new school teacher and was at her beck and call. She tried to ignore his her new shadow but soon she felt her heart warming to this special man. It was Sophia's job to teach the children about the white man's world and ways. And it was Will's job to teach the men to build houses, barns and many other things that were needed to live in a white man's world. But all of this was almost impossible to do without the clothing, blankets, supplies, tools, rations and money. These were things the government had promised the Poncas. On top of that they had no way to defend themselves from other tribes attacking them. Sophia and Will worked hard to get what was absolutely necessary for survival for the Poncas to get through the bitter cold winter, sickness and near starvation. They refused to give up on their mission. This is a heart wrenching story of neglect and abuse against the Ponca Agency. The author was very thorough in her description of the conditions and neglect the Poncas were forced to endure. The author provides many facts of this historical event. If you are more interested do a search of The Ponca Agency in the Dakota Territory. Here is a link if you want to learn more. White Eagle was the hereditary chief of the Poncas when they came to Indian Territory in 1877. As chief, he led the Poncas in their last war against the Sioux before they left Dakota Territory and Nebraska. He was also the medicine man and religious advisor. White eagle led the "hot country" Poncas, those who chose to remain in Indian Territory, for 50 years. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
An eye opener into how the government treatedthe Indians. 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 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Through Rushing Waters, written by Catherine Richmond, tells the story of Sophia Makinoff in 1876. Sophia is originally from Russia, and she finds herself teaching French in New York City, ready to marry a US Congressman. When she learns that the Congressman has proposed to her roommate, she takes the first opportunity to leave the city and become a missionary teacher. She is soon working at the Ponca Indian Agency in Dakota Territory where she learns that the children in the community need food, shelter, and clothing as much as they need to learn about history, science, and math. While teaching at the school, she meets many new people, including Will, the agency carpenter. Will has an attachment to the Ponco people, and he has learned their language and takes every opportunity to teach them carpentry as well as show them that Americans can provide assistance to the tribe. I loved the character of Sophia, as she was tough and she did not get scared by those who threatened to harm her. She also grew in her faith during the time she spent in Dakota Territory. She was a great teacher, and was very dedicated to teaching the people. She also showed initiative by reaching out to others in her home community asking them to send supplies to all of the needy Ponco people. Sophia also learns about her relationship with Christ. When she first came to the agency, she didn’t even seem able to pray without the help of her prayer book. As time progresses, Sophia is able to pray on her own and she actually does it at many opportunities. Will was also a great character; he was always trying to do his best for the Ponco people. In addition, he really cared about Sophia. He always put her protection before his own and spent his time to make her life as comfortable as possible while in the Dakota Territory. This was a great book, and a quick read. I would definitely recommend it to others. I received this book free from the publisher through the 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”