The description of Season of Forgiveness: A Novel (Seasons In Riverbend Book 1) interested me and I agreed to review it, but only had low expectations. This story blew my expectations out of the water! It is really good. Half way through I had to check to make sure it is a fiction story and not a biography written from an old diary or letters.
The heroine, Emma, is the mother of 7 boys from the ages of 2 to 19; and has to be able to live a self-sufficient lifestyle and provide for her family in the Colorado Rockies. Emma grew up in a mining town, was fortunate to go to boarding school & nursing school, and now lives on a cattle ranch with her husband. She battles the natural elements of Colorado in 1904 as well as human elements that don’t like the fact her stepmother was an Indian and that she owns some land in an important area. Emma is close to the Lord and treasures His guidance through her daily life. She actively works on forgiving others and being a Godly example to other women that do not know the Lord. She is almost too perfect, but she is a good heroine and her actions made me think of how I could be a better witness and show Christ’s love through my life.
The hero is a great husband and father as well as protector. He is a big part of the story since he is Emma’s husband, but he is more of a supporting character because there are 3 strong women [and Emma] that take more of center stage.
We get to read the background of the 3 other women that come into Emma’s life during this time because of the omniscient point of view the story is written in. Each of the women went through terrible times. They had to struggle through physical and emotional abuses. Emma is able to point them to the Lord who can forgive them and give them the strength to forgive others.
There are other supporting characters – some good, and some bad – that give us a more complete view of Emma’s life. Her children are entertaining and will pull at your the heart strings. Her family, well – I better let you read that for yourself.
It is not a romance per se, but does have some elements of romance. What good story doesn’t? This book also has some adult themes. They are not described, but they are mentioned.
I found myself thinking about this story weeks after I read it; so I am looking forward to reading the next story from Templa Melnick’s series “Seasons In Riverbend.”
Here is some backcover copy:
Emma is a little woman with a big heart, who can to ride, shoot, love, and pray!
Emma Johnson juggles family, friends, and pioneer chores, all the while dealing with threats to her own life, those she loves, and the safety of the ranch on the western slope of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains in the early 1900s. The challenges of living in the shadow of gold fever bring opportunities to use the skills learned from her Indian stepmother while praying as if everything depends on the Lord. Families, schools, and churches are moving into Riverbend, where gold assessors, saloons, and brothels have prevailed. Conflicts arise between miners, ranchers, bankers, railroad tycoons, Indians, and lawmen. Emma finds herself involved in the rescue and restoration of three abandoned or abused women. As hope, beauty, and new life blossom, the four women help uncover an evil plot and learn the meaning of forgiveness.
This Historical/Western/Romance novel shows us what women encountered in the West, especially in gold-rush boom towns. And it demonstrates the difference that faith, prayer, resourcefulness, and self-sacrifice can make in any hard situation.
Season of Forgiveness offers a colorful cast of characters, pacing that lets you experience family life on a Western ranch and the flavor of life in those days, peppered with suspense, danger, and a little mystery. The drama and pathos in the stories of the three women~Sally, Daisy, and Dee~are eloquent and will touch your heart. Each of them begins to come into her own and each develops love interests by the end of this book that will form the bases of the plots in books 2 and 3 of the series. By the time you read to the end ofSeason of Forgiveness, these characters will be real to you and you will want to read about the next seasons of their lives.
Get to know Emma Johnson, her cowboy husband, their seven rambunctious sons (the oldest ones becoming men), and Emma’s young, rescued-women friends in Season of Forgiveness, first novel of the new series, Seasons in Riverbend.
You can find more information at the author’s site. Published by Cladach Publishing. This book was sent to me for the book tour. The words are fully my own and my affiliate link is in this post.