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Reviewed by Kristie Ingerto for Readers' Favorite
April W. Gardner's debut novel "Wounded Spirits" is a historical fiction novel that will transport you to the early 1800's and tug at your heart strings. So aptly named, this novel is about people who really do have wounded spirits as a result of hardships, loss, lost love and fighting. Adela is a young woman who is faced with a marriage proposal from a very handsome man any girl would be lucky to have. However, Adela's older sister is set on marrying him and Adela is not sure of what she really feels for Philip - is it love or is she tired of her sister getting her way? Will Adela truly follow her heart, follow her younger sister's advice whom she is so close with or let her older sister's feelings interfere with what she really wants? Adela's father is filled with regrets and secrets as he often makes trips to a nearby Native American settlement to check in on his daughter who he gave up to be raised by her maternal family after the death of his first wife; however, this settlement is in the midst of war and the fighting comes way too close to home. Adela's mother is frail and ailing and each little thing seems to worsen her condition. Adela pushes on to be an example of Christ to those around her and to be a strong person for her family in the midst of the trials and hardships.
I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more from this author. At first I thought I may feel lost while reading with all of the cultural references in the book, but that was not the case. While there were many details in the story it was not overwhelming and confusing, but helped to set the scene and make the situation and the characters more life-life. While all of the characters are well-developed, Adela's character has been my favorite. There is so much depth to her character and her various struggles and emotions that the reader would be able to relate to her easily although she lived hundreds of years ago. This novel will be a good pick for all historical fiction fans.