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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
The year is 1837 and twenty-two-year-old Amanda Pearson is one day away from marrying Nathan Lane. When he breaks the engagement, telling her that he is in love with her best friend, Amanda realizes that she can no longer stay in New York. So she decides to head west to the Oregon Territory to work as a Quaker missionary sharing the word of God with the Nez Perce Indians. The journey is far from easy, with danger at every turn. When it seems as if Amanda may not make it, Buck McFadden, a trapper who lives in the Rocky Mountains comes along and takes her to his friends' cabin, where she meets Mary (Yellow Bird) Breck and her husband Jim. As she spends time with these people, she is determined to share with them the Good News of God, even though Buck and Jim don't want to hear it. What is in store for Amanda and her new found friends? Will she ever make it to the Spaulding Mission? Read Woman of Courage by Wanda Brunstetter and find out.
As a fan of Wanda Brunstetter, I can easily say this is probably my favorite book by far. Woman of Courage reads like an epic trek into the wilds of the west during the 1830s. Her descriptions of the settings really brought the story to life. The twists and turns that Amanda faced during her journey lent a tension to the story that kept me anxious to see what might happen next. Several secondary characters make for a well paced plot that never lagged, such as Buck, a trapper/mountain man who thought he was content with his solitary life, but learned differently. Mary Breck was a woman of courage as well; she made the best of whatever situation she found herself in. Each of the characters became real, allowing me to feel their ups and downs, their hopes and dreams. It was easy to see that Ms. Brunstetter did her research, sharing a few tidbits about different Indian beliefs and traditions. Historical fiction fans will enjoy this story, but anyone who is looking for a faith-based read, where romantic feelings slowly develop, interesting characters, and more than a few twists will find this one to their liking as well.