Revell (July 1, 2010)
Morrow is unable to evade the memories of her gravest loss though it had been decades since the events that forever detoured her bright childhood days. She now returns to Kentucke and the site where those horrid memories were created following a trip to her aunt in Philadelphia. Two years since she’d been back home due to hostilities among the Americans and British troops occupying the western stretches of a new country. On her return Morrow encounters visitors who are regulars at her father’s door but for her only rub salt into the mental wounds she suffered from losing not only her mother but her baby sister and their older brother. Though they were three women among a town of men, it still rankled that her brother though likely alive never contacted them or made any effort to return. Morrow and her father were left to fend for themselves but she wondered how he was able to even be civil much less welcome these Native visitors in his home where others of their kind had destroyed his loving family. Though her aunt and later her father tried to force a marriage they approved of so she would be cared for once her father’s ailments took him as well, Morrow eventually consented to a marriage of convenience. Despite her intended changes for her father’s peace of mind Morrow neither loved nor expected to the man was taken from her and a soldier she could never abide tried to sneak his way into the void. Later she discovered that the soldier himself was missing and presumed deceased. When she realized her feelings for the young Native who visited with his father and his for her she was forced to come to a heartfelt peace with God’s ways and plans for her and this young man she would eventually join in matrimony. Shortly preceding the moment her father returned to the dust that formed his corporeal form, “Red Shirt” returned to make her his and they left behind a land that neither wished to deal with and memories that would always accompany their lives. In order to maintain their safety and distance from the troops battling over the eastern seaboard “Red Shirt” took her among his people and friends in the western frontier where government squabbles and soldiers never ventured. They faced not only many separations but other dangers that threatened to separate or worse end their companionship.
Though this is the first book by Frantz that I have read, I look forward to reading her preceding volume, The Frontiresman’s Daughter. I also look forward to her releasing additional titles for readers to revel in . The characters are not only vivid but Frantz draws a deep and thorough cast of characters that will not only invade your thoughts but linger beyond the reading of her book. I was transported to the American Frontier, the Indian settlements of the day and the unexplored reaches beyond the edges of known places in a fledgling country. I can still feel and experience the rich detail and reactions of people and locations as they were nearly 2 and 1/4 centuries ago. I eagerly await my next escape courtesy of Frantz’s colorful and enthralling prose. (ISBN#9780800733407, 384pp, $14.99)