Lori Benton’s debut novel, Burning Sky, hit the CBA scene with a bang last year (and has won many awards to prove it) and her sophomore novel, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, has been highly anticipated. Once again Benton takes us back into the days of the open frontier with a stirring story of a woman willing to risk it all for the freedom to choose a life of her own.
Frontier dangers cannot hold a candle to the risks one woman takes by falling in love
In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.
Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?
Sometimes I like to think I know where a novel is headed and where it’s going to end. You know, like I’m the book prophet of Christmas past or something.
I am not. This book isn’t all you expect it to be.
With intriguing details of a complicated time in history, Benton’s novel drew me into a world I didn’t know much about. While it took me several chapters to really engage, I kept with it, because I know the author’s skills of weaving a beautiful story.
But I’m glad I did. Not only because some of the unexpected happenings with several characters and their stories, but it’s a sweet story of faith, hope and love. All things I’m a fan of. If you enjoyed Benton’s first novel and enjoy Laura Frantz’s stories, then I think you’ll enjoy this one as well.
Have you read this one? Are you a fan of frontier era stories?
(Thank you Blogging for Books and WaterBrook Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)