Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Spring for Susannah...Review
With no prospects for marriage and her parents recently deceased, Susannah Underhill agrees to go west to the Dakota territory to marry her minister's homesteading brother, Jesse. But Susannah is painfully shy, doesn't see herself as worthy of love from either a husband or from God, and lives in constant fear that Jesse is going to ship her back to Detroit.
In spite of her petite size and the fact that Susannah doesn't look like she could survive on the prairie, Jesse quickly discovers that his new wife is a greater blessing than he even hoped for. The years she spent as her father's veterinary assistant allow her to save Jesse's ox and twin calves and to help neighboring farmers with their animals.
But Susannah's feelings of unworthiness are deeply rooted, and she can't believe that Jesse's praise-or the tenderness and love he shows-could possibly last. The thawing of her heart seems almost as distant as Spring in the midst of the winter blanketing the Dakota prairie.
I've seen all kinds of rave reviews about Spring for Susannah and I had terrific hopes for it. This is not quite your typical mail-order bride scenario. Shy Susannah isn't sure what to expect when she accepts the offer to marry Jesse Mason and join him in Dakota territory. Raised to believe a woman should keep her thoughts and opinions to herself, she is unprepared to fall in love with a man who encourages her to be strong and to think for herself. Through trials and tragedies Susannah begins to blossom and it's wonderful to see her become a strong, independent woman.
I thought it refreshing that the story had a more intimate, romantic element that isn't usually found in historical Christian novels. There was nothing overtly graphic or inappropriate, but there is clear indication that Jesse and Susannah are a married couple who are attracted to each other and who enjoy marital relations.
I did struggle with the story when Jesse suddenly leaves in search of work. Susannah comes into her own but the story kinds of shuffles along and I found the ending somewhat abrupt. Still, overall, an enjoyable, easy read and a good debut novel from an author who I think will only get better.
Thanks to Amy at Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Catherine Richmond here. You can purchase your own copy here. You can see other tour stops and reviews here.
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