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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Journey of Honor...Review

About the book:
Disowned, she came to America anyway. Attacked and left pregnant by a vicious mob, she still pressed on. Finally, in spite of being accused of theft by the vilest of her attackers, Giselle tries to remain as upbeat and uncomplaining as a prairie wildflower as she travels on to Zion.

Thoroughly disillusioned with the ugliness and cruelty of slavery in the South, Trace Grayson leaves his young medical career to go west, hoping to leave bigotry and hatred behind. He begins taking goods by teamster train to sell in the territories. However, this fourth time across, in July of 1848, he’s stuck in St. Joseph, Missouri, waiting for enough wagons to join the train so that they can leave.

Knowing that if they don’t start west soon, they’ll be caught by snow in the mountains, Trace is thrilled when the final wagon signs on. Then, when the beautiful, young Dutch girl traveling with the last wagon is falsely accused of stealing and is detained, the whole trip is jeopardized. Thrown together by circumstance, Trace and Giselle team up to begin to figure out just how to make this epic journey across a continent a success.

With a deep sense of honor and an equally strong sense of humor, together they learn to deal with everything except the one trial that neither of them can overcome.

A sweet romance with characters you care about. A marriage of convenience and a treacherous pioneer trek make this an enthralling story.  Trace and Giselle start with a marriage of convenience that will protect her, but soon realize they are falling in love.  Giselle is a Mormon, Trace is not.  The plan is for them to have the marriage annulled when they reach the Salt Lake valley and Trace will continue on his way to California.

There are discussions and explanations of LDS principles as Trace learns about the Mormon church from Giselle, but this isn't a preachy, Mormon novel.  Trace's questions and concerns are real and honest and his conversion isn't an easy, guaranteed one, which was refreshing.

I wished for more details and character development.  These are characters with so much potential, especially Mose.  And, much of Giselle's history, including her conversion and the shunning by her parents is mentioned but just in passing.  Additionally, her assault and how it came to happen, while not something I want to read about in detail, isn't really explained.  I think having some of the back history would make this a richer story.

Still, it's a sweet, enjoyable read and one I can easily recommend.

Thanks to Cheryl at Media Guests for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Jaclyn M. Hawkes here.  You can see other tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/11

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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