Prairie Song, Hearts Seeking Home Series #1
I like most books about wagon trains. Most of them are exciting or at least interesting. Prairie Song was neither. Hardly anything interesting ever happened! I could not believe how boring this book was. I will not read anything by this author ever again!!!!!!
October 22, 2013
Captivating Story with Engaging Characters
From start to finish, Prairie Song captured my attention. Mona Hodgson has written a beautiful novel full of deep characters. This is the first book in the Hearts Seeking Home series. I definitely plan to read every book in this series. I was also happy to discover that there are three novellas that come before this book. I was perfectly able to follow the storyline without having read the novellas, however, I now plan to read those as well.
The author tackles deep issues in Prairie Song. Anna struggles to keep everything flowing smoothly for her family as they join a wagon train headed west. This is not an easy task. Anna's mother is mired in grief over the death of Anna's brother in the war. Anna takes on such a burden trying to handle all of the problems of her family. Will there ever be true love for her?
Many interesting stories unfold on this wagon train west. Secrets, misunderstandings and problems abound. There are those trying to overcome heartache from the past, one who feels incredible guilt over the result of decisions he made during the war, and secrets that will eventually be made known.
Mona Hodgson did an excellent job weaving these storylines together. Prairie Song is well-written and the characters feel so very real. It was a true joy to read.
I received a copy of Prairie Song for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
September 20, 2013
"Prairie Song" Review
I have read a lot of books about the Oregon/California Trail in my day. I really enjoy them Ã¢ÂÂ thatÃ¢ÂÂs why I keep reading them Ã¢ÂÂ and I always go into a series like this wondering what type of angle the author will take and what new things about life on the trail to the West I will learn.
This Trail novel didnÃ¢ÂÂt really give me too much new information historically, even though it was well-written as far as the history and time period goes. What it really brought up more than the history of life on the trail was a depth of spiritual growth in the characters that I have found to be typical of this author.
So, instead of focusing entirely on trail life, Prairie Song focuses on the characters Ã¢ÂÂ and there are a lot of them! I would be lost if I hadnÃ¢ÂÂt read the previous series of novellas that led up to it, the Quilted Heart novellas.
The stories of Garrett Cowlishaw and Caroline Milburn from the third novella in that series were also continued here in this novel. This Ã¢ÂÂtwo stories in oneÃ¢ÂÂ of Anna/Caleb & Garrett/Caroline sometimes got to be a bit much, but I understand why this was done. Novels about life on the trail during this time period (1860s) can get a bit monotonous, so having four main characters kept things a little more interesting.
What I liked most about the characters was how they read the Bible and experienced tremendous growth throughout the novel. I especially related to CalebÃ¢ÂÂs experience of not feeling forgiven by God. He knew in his head and heart that he had been forgiven, but he didnÃ¢ÂÂt always have the faith to believe it and live it. Anna also had some growing to do before she could give her heart to Caleb. She had been allowing her past experiences to rule her future instead of trusting in God to do so. It was so interesting to me how Anna kept trying to change her mother, who was an alcoholic, rather than trusting in God to change her mother as He saw fit. That part of the plot was unique and lent itself to some spiritual issues coming to the surface that I might not otherwise have thought about.
As far as the romances, the one between Garrett and Caroline progressed as I guessed it would Ã¢ÂÂ without too much fanfare. With Anna and Caleb, I was a little more interested in their relationship. There was a hint of the Big Misunderstanding plot device, but luckily it came from stubbornness on the part of one of the characters as opposed to a comedy of errors such as misplaced notes or some other such foolishness.
While there were some heartbreaking moments for these characters, they never were without hope, which kept the overall feel of the book from being depressing. Not everything that happens to these characters is completely wrapped up in this title, which is to be expected from a series.
I canÃ¢ÂÂt necessarily say that this Oregon/California Trail book sets itself apart too much from other ones that I have read other than the spiritual depth that was portrayed, but it was still a good novel, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
September 9, 2013
A Wagon Train, Action Adventure and Romance
Mona Hodgson in her new book, Ã¢ÂÂPrairie SongÃ¢ÂÂ Book One in the Hearts Seeking Home series published by WaterBrook Press brings us into the life of Anna Goben.
From the back cover: The first step in a challenging journey is often the one that means the most.
Though it means saying goodbye to the beloved friends and spiritual mentors of her St. Charles, Missouri quilting circle, Anna Goben is certain that she needs to enlist her family in the Boones Lick Company wagon train. The loss of her beloved brother in the Civil War has paralyzed her mother and grandfather in a malaise of grief and depression and Anna is convinced that only a fresh start in the Promised Land of California can bring her family back to her. Although the unknown perils of the trail west loom, AnnaÃ¢ÂÂs commitment to caring for her loved ones leaves no room for fearÃ¢ÂÂor even loving someone new.
During the five-month journey, trail hand Caleb Reger plans to keep a low profile as he watches over the band of travelers. Guarding secrets about his past and avoiding GodÃ¢ÂÂs calling on his life, Caleb wants to steer as far from Anna as she does him, but she proves to be just as he assessed her from the beginningÃ¢ÂÂ independent, beautiful trouble.
Led by a pillar of hope, the group faces rough terrain that begins to take a toll on their spirits. Will the wilderness of suffering lead them astray, or will the gentle song of love that echoes across the prairie turn their hearts toward GodÃ¢ÂÂs grace and the promise of a new home?
I used to watch the old series, Ã¢ÂÂWagon TrainÃ¢ÂÂ and, obviously, liked it a lot. So when Mona Hodgson wants to take us on a trek West on a wagon train I am all eager to sign up for the five month trip. The ride is going to be hard and bumpy but the fellow travelers are going to make it all worth while. Ms. Hodgson does a wonderful job of showing us how The Civil War and her brotherÃ¢ÂÂs death affected Anna and her family. The strength of purpose she shows in trying to keep her family together is so well crafted. And, of course, Caleb Reger is just a pleasure to learn about and watch how he relates with Anna. Ã¢ÂÂPrairie SongÃ¢ÂÂ is more than just a great romance Ms. Hodgson gives us some excitement and adventure in this story as well. Ms. Hodgson gets us caught up in the story and the characters to the point that we actually hate to say goodbye to them when the book ends. I am so looking forward to book two in the new exciting series from this very talented author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Press for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255: Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
September 2, 2013