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Jack Brennan has been working himself to death for the past fifteen years as a wagon guide to block out the pain of his wife and son's death. Now, he is ready to settle down in Willow Springs. When he is thrown together unexpectedly with Veronique, he becomes involved with her quest to find her father, but that is not the only way she has the potential to change his life.
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2007
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Fountain Creek Chronicles
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Jack Brennan has the right experience for the driver Véronique wants, but he has no desire to guide her. He has recently taken a job hauling supplies to nearby mining towns. Only one problem: Véronique has bought the wagon he meant to use for the job. This forces Jack to become her guide in exchange for use of the wagon.
As they travel together, Véronique begins to deal with the death of her mother and the possibility that she will never find her father. Jack also faces the loss of loved ones. God has helped him to let go of this burden, but as he slowly falls in love with Véronique, he fights back his feelings for her out of guilt. The novel will not keep the reader up all night. It starts off slowly, but picks up the pace during the last one hundred pages. The reader does not have to wonder if Véronique and Jack will finally get together or how they will get together. From the first time Véronique and Jack meet, they think highly of each other. Only silence keeps them from coming together immediately.
Alexander spends a lot of time on character development. The story revolves less around Véroniques search for her father and more around her conversations with Jack. The characters are somewhat realistic, with faults to which the reader can relate. Heights scare Véronique, and closed spaces alarm Jack. However, the moral dilemmas characters face barely come out in their thoughts. One weakness of the book is the lack of tension as characters think about their situations; Alexander makes her characters too perfect. All the characters are Christian and, even with their faults, they unfailingly look to Christ first. Where spiritual battles would exist in typical Christian minds, none are found here.
Spiritual content prevails in Alexanders novel. Characters talk about God, go to church, and read their Bibles throughout the book. Véronique and Jack deal with the Christian view on death and, as they slowly learn to confide in each other, they remind themselves that their loved ones are in a better place. Véronique comes from a wealthy background; trials refine her look on life and humble her. A painter, she lets jealousy rule her heart when she sees painters more gifted than herself, but she comes to realize that she must accept the gift God has given her for what it is and use it for His glory.
Alexander uses French terms throughout the novel to make Véroniques words and thoughts more realistic, a practice that can hinder readability, even for this reviewer, who took two years of high school French. Whereas the plot is not overly lively, Alexander fills her narrative with colorful imagery. Véronique often reflects upon the beauty of the sunsets and clouds in America. Billows of whitish-gray clouds stretched across the western horizon, one atop the other. Wave upon fluffy wave crested, reflecting the last vestiges of light until the sky resembled an ocean churning to meet the shore. (p. 91) On one of Véroniques trips into the mining towns Alexander writes, A portion of the mountains off to her right resembled an enormous bowl that God had scooped out by hand and ladled to the brim with snow. (p. 367) One can easily picture the settings and characters. Alexander also inserts a few unexpected twists toward the end.
The story is mostly independent first two books in the Fountain Creek Chronicles, so the reader doesnt have to have read the rest of the series to understand what is happening. Alexander does a good job of keeping the novel historically accurate. It does not stand out from other romance novels, but it is a good story. Any lover of romance novels will enjoy reading Remembered. Harmony Wheeler, Christian Book Previews.com
Author: Tamera Alexander
Located in: Colorado
Submitted: May 12, 2007
Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia but have spent the last seventeen years in Colorado with my family. While I miss my native south (am am moving back there this summer -- Tennessee here we come!), I've developed a love both for the Rocky Mountains and for its colorful history. Before turning to writing, my professional background was in business management and corporate conference coordination. I've led womens ministries for many years (though just stepped down from leadership in order to concentrate more fully on writing), and am also active in the music ministry. I enjoy facilitating small groups and Bible studies, as well as mentoring other women. I also love speaking at women's retreats and get togethers. I earned a business degree from Harding University and live with my husband in Colorado, where we enjoy life with our two college-age children and another VERY important member of our familya seven-pound Silky named Jack. You can see pics of Jack at www.tameraalexander.com or www.tameraalexander.blogspot.com.
What was your motivation behind this project? My motivation behind Remembered was a trip to Paris that my husband and I took in May 2006. I "met" Veronique Girard (figuratively, of course) in a cemetery in northern Paris, and as Joe and I strolled the old cobbled walkway of Cemetery Montmartre, this young woman (the daughter of a French Fur Trapper from the 1840s) came alive for me. And....the first scene in Remembered is actually set in that very cemetery.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? First, I hope readers are drawn into the story and lives of these characters in Fountain Creek Chronicles. I certainly was as I wrote them, and they still resonate with me today. I think about them often, and though Remembered is the final book in the 3-part series, I'd love to someday have the opportunity to visit this town, and these characters, again.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I see stories in most everything around me -- news headlines, snatches of conversations I may overhear, scriptures that hit me in a new and fresh way, and in music. Just the other day I heard a new song from a favorite artist of mine (Alison Krauss) and it prompted me to thinking about a subplot that I could write into the book I'm working on now. You just never know where story ideas will spring from!
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: One of the most rewarding things about writing has been the connections I've made with readers. They become like friends! I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts about Rekindled, Revealed, and Remembered, Book 1-3 in Fountain Creek Chronicles. I'm busy working on another series for Bethany House right now which will be out in 2008. So until then...continued blessings, Tamera