Overview: The first step in a challenging journey is often the one that means the most.
Though it means saying goodbye to the beloved friends and spiritual mentors of her St. Charles, Missouri quilting circle, Anna Goben is certain that she needs to enlist her family in the Boones Lick Company wagon train. The loss of her beloved brother in the Civil War has paralyzed her mother and grandfather in a malaise of grief and depression and Anna is convinced that only a fresh start in the Promised Land of California can bring her family back to her. Although the unknown perils of the trail west loom, Anna’s commitment to caring for her loved ones leaves no room for fear—or even loving someone new.
During the five-month journey, trail hand Caleb Reger plans to keep a low profile as he watches over the band of travelers. Guarding secrets about his past and avoiding God’s calling on his life, Caleb wants to steer as far from Anna as she does him, but she proves to be just as he assessed her from the beginning— independent, beautiful trouble.
Led by a pillar of hope, the group faces rough terrain that begins to take a toll on their spirits. Will the wilderness of suffering lead them astray, or will the gentle song of love that echoes across the prairie turn their hearts toward God’s grace and the promise of a new home?
My Review: This is the first book I've read by this author. I love when I read books by new authors and they are intriguing and well-written! I believe I've found a fantastic author. Mona Hodgson has a way of bringing problems many people face to life in a fiction book. The issues that each character is dealing with are real issues and are written in such a way that everyone who reads the book can relate to them. Anna Goben is a strong, stubborn, and independent woman. Circumstances have forced her to put her life "on hold" and care for her grieving family. Her emotions have been pushed to the side so she can be strong for everyone else. Caleb Reger thinks his sin is unforgivable. Since the war ended, he's been searching for a way to ease his guilt and find God's grace, but it's just out of reach.
This journey is supposed to be a fresh start for all the members on it, and the author does a great job of portraying the hardships and enjoyments of trail life. The plot and storyline gives you a look into what life might have been like on the long journey west to a new life. The hardships and trials faced by those on the trail are intriguing. The romances between characters in the books developed in a realistic manner. They didn't fall in love in a day as some authors are prone to make you believe.
This book touched my heart in ways that some books don't even begin to do - I guess because I've lost a loved one in the war and I can relate to grief and wanting to start fresh. I found the book sweet and interesting. Overall, this book was wonderful and I can't wait to read the rest of the books in the Hearts Seeking Home series!
Read an excerpt from this book here.
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