This is historical fiction. Although the lead character is Mennonite, the book doesn't really focus on the annabaptist culture like some of the other Amish Fiction books would. So if you shy away from Amish Fiction, don't think that A Woman of Courage can be lumped into that genre.
This book does not quit. The action starts at the very beginning when our heroine, Amanda, is left by her fiancee the night before she is to be married. It is this pivotal moment in her life that causes her to examine her calling. She and her father sell everything, leave New York, and head west to join a missionary couple already ministering to the Nez Perce Indians. I don't want to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, you will not believe what happens to Amanda on the trail west! And after she connects with a couple trappers and one trapper's wife, the action does not stop there. As a matter of fact, the twists and turns in the story don't really stop until the very end.
If I offered one criticism it is that the way the Indians are portrayed seems a little stereotypical. Maybe Indians of the time period really did talk in the stilted, "Me not know about that..." way of speaking, but it did sometimes seem a little trite. But that is easily overlooked with the story line.
I enjoyed A Woman of Courage by Wanda Brunstetter very much. It is very good historical fiction. I learned about myself and how I want to be the type of woman who does not give up when she knows God is with her like Amanda did. I learned that I give up too easily. And Amanda is an inspiration to me.
Wanda E. Brunstetter in her new book, Woman Of Courage published by Shiloh Run Press takes us into the life of Amanda Pearson.
From the Back Cover: A Quaker woman dares the unknown to be a missionary.
Jilted by her fianc in 1837, Amanda Pearson gives up on romance and turns to her Quaker faith for reassurance. She becomes determined to follow the Rev. and Mrs. Spalding three thousand miles into the western wilderness to minister to the Nez Perce Indians. The trip is fraught with danger, and soon Amanda finds herself recovering from near death in a trappers cabin. His Indian wife becomes Amandas first convert, but the trapper and his intriguing half-Indian friend want nothing to do with Christians. Will they still help her reach the mission in the Lapwai Valley?
The story begins in 1837 Dansville, NY where Amanda is rejected by her fiance the day before the wedding. To fill the void and hide the pain she and her father begin a 3,000 mile journey to the Wyoming Territory to minister to the Nez Perce Indians. You would not think it would be this much trouble but for Amanda she almost doesnt make it. Ms. Brunstetter has crafted an adventure as Amanda leaves home for the first time and meets people that she would never have met had she stayed in NY. The journey takes nine months and Ms. Brunstetter fills it with characters and events that show not only the harshness that had to be endured but also the warmth and help of some people. Amanda is a fascinating character and the story is very exciting and interesting. Woman of Courage will hold your interest, keep you flipping pages and give you something to think about even long after you have finished this wonderful book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Handlebar 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
A Quaker woman dare the unknown to be a missionary. This statement was one of the reasons I picked this book for review. Normally, I am not a huge historical reader but the author was Wanda Brunstetter and I knew she writes good books. This books actually drew me in throughout the story and kept me guessing just how Amanda would survive and make it to her destination.
Amanda Pearson was jilted by her fiance' and decides to pick up and embark on a three-thousand mile journey in 1837. She wants to follow the Rev. and Mrs. Spalding into the western wilderness to minister to the Nez Perce' Indians along with her father. The trail is long and difficult and there are many dangers and tragedies that Amanda has to overcome. She faced a near death experience but God showed her the people she was sent to help and minister to even before she got to the Spalding Mission. I felt that was the key to this story-her obstacles and her courage to go on. Amanda also has no desire for any relationship but a certain man enters her life as he guide but he has no desire to help anyone who claims Christ as their lord. How can Amanda reach the Indians if she cannot reach anyone around her for Christ. As the journey continues, it becomes life changing for her and those she meets. The choices she has to make are almost unbearable.
This was a really good book laced with scripture and and forgiveness by some of the characters. I received this book from Barbour Publishing free for my honest opinion.
Amanda Pearson has essentially been left at the altar, as her fiance tells her just before their wedding that he's leaving her for her best friend. Rather than remain in shame within their Quaker community, Amanda convinces her father that they should set out for the Oregon Territory to bring the Good News to the Nez Perce Indians. Trials and hardships shadow Amanda as she travels, and she is forced to examine her faith and her decisions to pursue this path.
I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but I do enjoy the time period of the expansion west. I can't even imagine the hardships of crossing the country on horseback, with very few comfort items and months on the trail. Amanda doesn't immediately strike the reader as one of hardy stock, yet she perseveres through tragedy and difficult circumstances while keeping her faith intact and even attempting to share the Word with all she comes in contact with. Her character comes across as naive, yet sincere, and it's believable that she would grow on the people who initially resist her "Bible thumping." However, I did find it difficult to believe that that many tragedies could befall both her and every person she met. Maybe not the tragedies themselves, but the catalyst they provided to turn the characters to God felt too neat and tidy. Not all tragedies lead to conversions, and not all conversions are proceeded by tragedy, but you wouldn't know that from this book.
Overall, I give this book 3 stars. It could have felt a little deeper, with more examination of the faith that Amanda was sharing, but the characters were tied together well; and as a reader, I cared about them enough to be happy when things turned out well for them.