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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Frontiersman's Daughter...Review

About the book:
In The Frontiersman’s Daughter, debut novelist Laura Frantz plants readers into the demanding realities of frontier life during the time in American history when Daniel Boone was settling Kentucky. This story has personal significance to Frantz, because her ancestors were among those settlers who journeyed with Boone—and many remain in those original areas of Kentucky.

Drawing from cherished family lore as well as in-depth research in her writing, Frantz is able to paint a story with a distinct, captivating authenticity.

Frantz introduces readers to Lael Click, who is lovely but tough as nails and coming of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement that her father—a celebrated frontiersman—founded. Life as a pioneer isn’t easy, and it’s more than just the hardships of living in the wilderness that Lael must contend with: The arrival of an outlander doctor threatens her view of the world, God, and herself—as well as the power of grace and redemption.

In the midst of this, Lael must also face the loss of a childhood love, a dangerous family feud, the affection of a Shawnee warrior and the secret sins of her family’s past. Rather than give up, this strong woman draws strength from the rugged land she calls home. This epic novel gives readers a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman.

The story covers a period of time I love and an area of America that I am not very familiar with. I found the historical aspect fascinating: how the early settlers came into the Appalachian mountains, how they founded their settlements and fought with the Native Americans, their struggle to build homes, farm and hunt and simply survive. Yet, they found love and happiness as they worked and raised their families.

As a teenager, Lael finds herself drawn to a young man her father doesn't approve of and a Shawnee Indian chief he does. Life in their settlement isn't easy and while Lael loves learning about herbs and healing from Ma Horn, her father sends her to Virginia to school. When her father dies and Lael returns to Kentucky as a young woman, she finally finds her way, as an independent woman with a gift of healing.

Never considering herself a true believer, Lael nevertheless sees her faith tested as she works with the new doctor and attempts to resist falling in love with him.

A terrific debut novel. I loved it. I couldn't put it down. I loved Lael and seeing her grow into a mature young woman who found her purpose and her faith. Laura Frantz's characters are likeable and well-developed. Her descriptions are lovely: it was very easy to picture Lael's cabin with the climbing roses and the nearby river.

If I have any criticisms, it's that I'd love to see Ezekiel's story told. The teasers we're given help with the back story, but they're just that, teasers. I think the Frontiersman's story is begging to be written! I also think we were left hanging a bit with Captain Jack and I'll bet his story is also terrific.

Thanks to Donna Hausler from the Baker Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can find out more about Laura Frantz here and here. You can purchase the book here.

Read 8/09

* * * * *
5/5 Stars


  1. This sounds like a really good book. I've been trying to try out new time periods with historical romance and this sounds like a good one to try.

  2. Holly,
    I enjoyed reading your review so very much. Lots of time and thought went into it and you have a wonderful way of turning even the unanswered questions about certain characters into postives. I think Ezekial Click and Captain Jack would make interesting reads also. Bless you for reading and posting! It blesses me!

  3. Fantastic review! This sounds like a book I would love. I haven't read a good frontier book in a long time! I'm definitely adding this to list of books to read.

  4. http://lauragerold.blogspot.com/

    I have an award for you on my blog.

  5. Great review! I'm so behind in my reading that I only just begun this book.