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Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers' Favorite
Hope in Cripple Creek by Sara R. Turnquist revolves around a kind of Christian-themed Western drama involving two siblings, Katherine Matthews and her brother, David. They both have their individual problems separate from each other. Katherine wants to adopt two children orphaned during the typhoid epidemic that grips Cripple Creek, except the problem is that she isn’t married, a requirement for adoption. David wants to make his own way in the world, and he does that by deciding he would rather work in a dirty mine riven with labor problems than work on his father’s ranch and some day inherit it.
Katherine makes some bad choices in order to achieve her goal, including a questionable romance with a childhood enemy. She remembers how Wyatt Sullivan, now Doctor Wyatt Sullivan, had presumably abandoned her best friend years earlier when they were all children and trying to escape from a cave-in. David, meanwhile, and independently of Katherine’s situation, finds that working as part of a labor unit and subject to unsympathetic bosses is not all that it is cracked up to be, compared with ranch work. Can there be a rapprochement with his father, Tom Matthews? Maybe. Can Katherine find it within herself to forgive Wyatt Sullivan and develop a true, meaningful romance with him? Maybe.
I very much enjoyed Hope in Cripple Creek by Sara R. Turnquist. The story and themes are intended to evoke trust in God, but without the preachiness and cant which so often mars Christian fiction. The novel is a testament to how God, with unlimited resources at His disposal, can make even bad choices turn out for good in the end. This book is very well written, with good characterization, a story that will definitely appeal to readers who enjoy Christian themed novels, westerns and historical romances.