1889. Cherokee Rose and police chief Britt Claiborne are forced onto reservations along with their descendants and the five civilized tribes in the Oklahoma District. The U.S. government has told them that because of its rich, productive soil and sufficient water supply, the Oklahoma District is now white man s land of promise. With indescribable sadness and anger, the Indians look on as thousands of prospective settlers and their families enter the district and claim 160-acre sections of land in the Oklahoma land rush.
The Land of Promise is set in 1889, and the U.S. government is forcibly restricting the Cherokees to reservations within the Oklahoma District, infringing on land that had once been established by treaty as Indian Territory. Naturally, this doesnt make the Cherokees happy, and some of them want to fight. In the middle of all of this is Britt Claiborne, the United Cherokee Nation Chief of Police. He must maintain order and obey the U.S. government despite his Cherokee ties (hes a quarter Cherokee). Meanwhile, settlers converge on the Oklahoma District, enticed by the promise of land. The book focuses on three major settler families, the Beldens, Ackermans, and Parkers, as they struggle with rattlesnakes, wind storms, and angry Indians to claim their land.
This book begins with an interesting premise. However, the dialogue quickly quashes any expectations of a good read. I was surprised, since Al and Joanna Lacy are bestselling authors. The characters speak almost robotically, and seem to have very little in the way of personality. Much of the dialogue is preachy, unrealistic, and often repetitive. Because of these factors, I was unable to emotionally invest myself in the characters, which made the reading experience less immersive than it could have been.
On the bright side, this book is filled with spiritual content. Most, if not all of the characters, are religiously motivated. There is some conflict with a vocal atheist settler that opens the door for some common and useful arguments for the existence of God. Unfortunately, the scene in which this happens seems a little forced, like many other passages in the book that contain spiritual content. Again unfortunately, the Christian characters arent flawed enough to be relatable. In the end, the spiritual thrust of the novel feels more like a hammer by which the reader is constantly beaten over the head.
The writing style of the novel is very detailed with many beautiful descriptions. For example, The sun had already tipped the eastern horizon rosy red, and the open land toward the south lay fresh and colorful in the morning light as the travelers were about to climb into their wagons. The authors choose descriptive words well, and the scenes are usually easy to envision. I feel that the authors truly succeeded in this area, despite other missteps.
In the end, the bad dialogue and preaching gets in the way of a good reading experience, despite other aspects of quality the book has. Thus, I cannot recommend The Land of Promise as well-written literature. However, this work is perfectly suitable as a piece of clean Christian fiction. Peter Semple, Christian Book Previews.com