Explores what love is as characters find healing and forgiveness
June 10, 2015
Debbie from ChristFocus
"Summer of Promise" is a Christian historical romance set in 1885 in Wyoming. It's the first in a series but can be read as a stand alone novel. The author vividly described the area and what fort life was like at this time without slowing the pacing. There's a mystery throughout about who is involved in the stage coach robberies. We're told enough to guess at the unknowns, but it's realistic that Ethan doesn't immediately suspect certain characters. We have more information than he does.
The characters were complex, likable, and acted realistically. Ethan and Abigail fell in love slowly as they spent time together and got to know each other. They want to help each other, and their friendship develops into something deeper. Charlotte's part of the story deals with a husband and wife who love each other yet still have hurt feelings as certain choices create tensions.
The Christian aspect is mostly in how the main characters treat those around them but also in where they look to understand what love truly is and to find forgiveness. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this enjoyable novel.
At points I thought the relationship dragged on, but society today its different from the 1800's. Keeping that in mind it helped she the relationships develop. I was in suspence and couldnt wait to finish.
This is a fun read. It starts off with a bang - literally! - with a stagecoach robbery, introducing Abigail to the perils of the untamed West. This new series is off to a great beginning with this book about Abigail. I love her care and concern for Charlotte. I could also relate to her character; how many times have I predetermined I am not going to like something, only to discover that either it's not what I expected at all or my tastes begin to change the more I learn about it? I look forward to reading more about Charlotte and a third sister in upcoming books.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell as part of their Blogger Review program. 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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The first of Amanda Cabot's Westward Winds trilogy focuses on the middle of three sisters - Abigail, the practical (though sometimes impulsive) sister. A teacher in a girls' school, Abigail decides to travel out west during her vacation to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to visit her older sister, whose letters have not left Abigail satisfied as to her health and well-being. Because of Charlotte's pregnancy, Abigail puts off her return to school and her almost-fiance, and in doing so spends more time with Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, a man desperate to solve the mysterious thefts plaguing the fort.
Cabot has a nice pace to the novel - it takes place over several months, and one can feel the time passing without the story dragging. The relationship between Ethan and Abigail (and Abigail's waning feelings for Woodward), Ethan's struggles to improve the morale of his troops and lower desertion rates, the increasing audacity of the stagecoach robbers - such things are not resolved instantly, but take time. Each feels better developed and more realistic thanks to their timing over the course of the story, without any losing its freshness and becoming a bore.
Probably my favorite part of the novel is how Ethan and Abigail's relationship develops - first as friends, since Abigail is practically engaged to another man and Ethan has no intention of ever marrying, and then slowly over the course of many suppers, horseback rides, and walks with the dog, their friendship deepens into love. I also really like that Abigail cares so much for Ethan's spiritual state and relationship with his grandfather, and she knows when to broach or back off those sensitive subjects. They are not perfect - occasionally they hurt one another - but they are quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness, modeling a very healthy relationship.
Besides being a lovely historical read about the latter days of Fort Laramie, the story also sports a mystery as to who is behind the stagecoach robberies, and the clues point to several possibilities. It wasn't until near the end that I was sure who the villain was. An excellent read! 5 out of 5 stars!