Saturday, August 2, 2014

Woman of Courage by Wanda E. Brunstetter

womanofcouragecover BooksAmanda Pearson expects to be married and settled in a modest home with her husband within the year, so when her fiancee confesses that he has fallen in love with another, Amanda finds herself totally lost.
Her Quaker faith leads her to the decision to travel West and offer her services to the missionaries of the Nez Perce Indians (Oregon Territory) The 3000 mile journey is fraught with danger and disasters.  While her guides and others along the way believe Amanda is a mere girl, it becomes clear that she IS a woman of courage who will not give up.  

Injured and near death, Amanda is found on the trail by Buck McFadden who takes her to the nearby cabin of a trapper and his Indian wife.  Buck, himself the child of a Native American woman and a white father,  trusts almost no one, and he certainly does not want to hear Amanda's Bible stories.  Neither does the trapper, but strangely enough his Indian wife is eager to make friends with Amanda and learn what the Black book says. 

Wanda E. Brunstetter balances the views of the various Indian nations with those of the white man.
Authentic details about life in the 1830s were threaded throughout the story which helped the story of Amanda and Buck come alive.  Nearly as important is the story of Mary, the young Indian married to the rough neck trapper Jim.  I especially liked the "back stories" for both Jim and Buck; they had reasons for their hard hearts and I can imagine dozens of other loners of the west who had similar stories.   I have not read much by Wanda Brunstetter because she mainly writes Amish fiction, and while I do read some Amish fiction, I don't choose that genre often.  This  stand-alone historical fiction title, with its Quaker/West setting is well written and well researched.  I highly recommend it and will be checking out more of her work myself.  I received a copy of WOMAN OF COURAGE from Handlebar and Barbour Publishing for review purposes. 

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