Sunday, January 27, 2013

'A Home in Drayton Valley' by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I wasn't sure about this book when I requested it because I am very picky when it comes to historical fiction. But the story sounded interesting to me so I gave it a whirl.

The basic story is, two friends are desperate to escape their lives in New York in 1880. Tarsie is single and Mary is married with two children. Mary's husband Joss is not a very nice person at the beginning of the book. The only things he seems to care about are drinking and Mary. Through a series of events the two friends and Mary's family head out to live in Kansas.

Mary dies on the way and before she dies, she makes Tarsie promise to take care of Joss and the children. Then the story goes on from there about the life in Kansas and the changes in Tarsie and Joss.

Overall I thought this was a good book. A nice solid story and for the most part believable characters. However, there were a few things that I just didn't understand. We don't get to see a lot of the friendship between Mary and Tarsie so it wasn't very believable to me that Tarsie would just fork over her life's savings to get Mary out of New York and then take over the care of Mary's family when she died. The book talked about how they were such great friends but the only thing that I saw was Tarsie doing Mary's work because she was just too sick. I guess if there had just been some more back story it would have been a little better for me.

I almost didn't finish reading this book because of the character of Joss. I disliked him so much that if I didn't think that he would be redeemed at the end of the story, I would have stopped reading. He was just such a loathsome character that when he first started to change into a better person, I didn't even care. Plus with him changing a little bit and then changing right back it was so frustrating to read.

Overall though, I thought this was an excellent book. I really liked the character of Tarsie. She was a strong woman who cared deeply about people and had a strong faith that is admirable. I really enjoyed this book and I'm glad that I picked it.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for free in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review and all thoughts in this review are my own.


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