Catherine Richmond s debut, Spring for Susannah, wowed me with its characters and its sweet portrayal of love surviving harsh trials While Through Rushing Water didn t have quite the same personal impact for me, as far as depicting a horrific time in history with grace, understanding, and conviction, Richmond s sopho novel does it all.
Sophia is an intriguing heroine who has experienced terrible events, lived in various countries, and tried to forge an important future for herself But when her latest plans are embarrassingly crushed, she finds herself headed to the Ponca Indian Agency, a place that hardly seems like the launching point for anything great until she gets to know the people who live there.
I loved seeing Sophia s character blossom as she uses her creativity and determination to bless the Ponca people And I loved getting to know sweet Will, and seeing his love for Sophia help both him and Sophia grow in their faith Through Rushing Water is a gentle read, in one sense, as there is some simmering suspense but a lot of a focus on the characterization But in another sense it is far from gentle, as it is a book that tells a deeply tragic tale, and it is horribly sad to see the way the Native Americans were treated It is certainly a worthwhile read, though, as it instills important lessons and lessons on what is truly important , bravely and with heart In this world there are great, terrifying floods of rushing water but this story reminds us that those waters should not be allowed to capture our focus or sweep away our heart With thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with an e copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
When The Life She Planned For Herself Is Snatched Away, Sophia S Eyes Open To The Life God Has Planned For HerSophia Makinoff Is Sure That Is The Year She S Going To Become The Wife Of An Up And Coming Congressman But When The Congressman Humiliates Her By Proposing To Her Mousy Roommate, Sophia Wants Nothing Than To Disappear And Avoid The Wedding Plans She Grasps At Her First Opportunity For Escape And Signs Up For The Board Of Foreign MissionsShe Thinks She Ll Be Going To China But Even Running Away Doesn T Go As Planned When She S Instead Sent To The Ponca Indian Agency In The Dakota Territory It S An Abysmal, Primitive Place For A Lady Of Society, But As She Gets To Know The People, She Discovers She Can T Abandon Them The Motives That Led Her There Were Anything But Pure, But She Finds A New Purpose In Trying To Protect The Least Of These The Water Rushes Around Her Literally And Figuratively As Sophia Learns That The Only Way To Fulfill Her Purpose Is To Ignore The Distractions And Focus On God S Leading I so enjoyed Catherine Richmond s Spring for Susannah that I really wanted to read her next bookand it does not disappoint We begin with Sophia Makinoff teaching at girls college, and convinced she is about to marry a new Congressman When things don t turn out as planned she attends a Missionary Meeting and immediately signs upthinking she is going to China Again things don t turn out as she has planned and we find her in South Dakota at Ponca Indian Agency where she will teach What turns out for her to be a disappointment soon turns into a blessing.
Willoughby Dunn or Will the carpenter Nettie and Henry Granville Mom and son Rev and James Lawrence the Indian Agent These are the people that Sophia will be spending her time with, along with the Indian children and adults.
Will turns out to be such a blessinghe turns discards into something usablelike a dipper for the children to drink their water from using tin cans Nettie does the cooking, and becomes a dear friend to Sophia.
Unfortunately the story is based on actual factand I find it heartbreaking.
Come along and experience some of the History in the making of our Country, you will easily get lost in this book We may not agree with what happens to these innocent people, but it brings to light the facts.
I received this book through Netgalley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
The historical significance is this book s saving grace So 2 stars I appreciated the research that went into this It is a story that needs to be told But everything else was a bust for me For being Christian Fiction it felt a little light It felt like Sunday School back in my Baptist Church days.
and by the way, it wasn t fun Everything felt like a text book answer I also thought that the romance was distracting from the point of the story It would have made a stronger statement about the raw deal these Indians received at the hands of the US government if the romance wasn t there Overall, this just didn t work for me.
This was pretty much your standard Christian historical fiction romance While I don t read this genre nearly as often as I used to, I do still occasionally get the urge to read one because they re usually simple and sweet I liked the missionary and teaching aspects of Through Rushing Waters, and I also enjoyed getting to see Sophia s growth throughout the book That being said, I felt that several of the secondary characters and even the main love interest fell just a little bit flat for me I didn t love how quickly he fell for Sophia, either The story itself was interesting I liked getting to read about the Ponca tribe, and I thought, for the most part, it was a fairly fast read though I did set it aside for several days I also thought it dealt with some heavier topics than you tend to find in this genre not to say that they aren t out there , which I thought the author handled very well Towards the end I got a little bit bored, but that wasn t something that I felt was an issue throughout the story.
All in all, Through Rushing Waters is a pretty decent, albeit somewhat stereotypical Christian historical fiction romance I didn t love the romance, but I enjoyed the rest of the story I would recommend for anyone who is a already a fan of the genre and who might be interested in the missions aspect.
Reread in 2018 Obviously didn t enjoy it as much as I did the first time as I m no longer Evangelical, but I appreciated the lengths the author went to paint the atrocities committed against Native Americans, and I appreciated that the heroine was an outsider Despite the cheesiness of the spiritual aspects, I still enjoyed this It s the first time I ve read or reread a Christian novel in a good while and it wasn t as triggering as I expected GENRE HISTORICAL ROMANCEPUBLISHER THOMAS NELSONPUBLICATION DATE JULY 03, 2012RATING 5 OUT OF 5 NEAR PERFECTPROS Great spiritual message about relying on God s direction and guidance unconventional non American heroine realistic plot progression and conclusion well researched historical details about the PoncasCONS None Sophia Makinoff thought she had her entire life planned out She was to marry a congressman and become a woman of substantial influence in the political world that is, until the congressman in question decided that her roommate would make a better wife than Sophia Humiliated, Sophia takes the first opportunity she has and escapes the women s college where she used to teach, signing up to become a missionary But although the life of a missionary appealed to her, Sophia imagined that she would be spending her time witnessing to natives in China, not teaching the poverty stricken children of the Ponca tribe in Nebraska The way her students live couldn t be further from what Sophia experienced as a child, growing up amongst nobility in Russia The other agency workers are reticent to Sophia, both because she wasn t born on American soil and because her Orthodox Christian beliefs confuse them Sophia doesn t see how she s ever going to adapt to life with the Poncas, but as she becomes aware of how much her students need and how little the government provides them with, she uses the links and influence from her previous lifestyle to aid the Agency s work But no amount of letter writing can stop the government from moving the Poncas away from their homeland to Indian Territory Sophia and the other agency workers fight to stop this move from occurring, but only Sophia and Will, the agency carpenter, truly know the full affects of such a decision Will is the only employee who has learned the Ponca s language and understands when Sophia needs to bend the Agency s rules to suit the needs of her students But it seems that all of their efforts will have been in vain, if the Poncas are forced from their homes Will this also mean the end for Sophia and Will s relationship, if they no longer have their common cause to unite them Although I had my issues with the structuring of Catherine Richmond s debut novel, Spring for Susannah, her writing showed a lot of originality and promise, which prompted me to add Through Rushing Water to my wishlist as soon as I heard about it I was a little cautious at approaching Through Rushing Water, in case the book didn t live up to its absolutely stunning cover, but thankfully this novel far surpassed my expectations The little quirks that made Spring for Susannah so unique have come into their fullness in Catherine s second novel, proving that new and innovative books can still come out of the Christian historical fiction genre One of the things that can grate me about any novel that deals with racism or the treatment of minority groups is the sheer improbability that the average white American in any given time period just happens to have not bought into the racial stereotypes of their peers What are the chances, honestly, that the daughter of a prosperous plantation owner in Texas in 1850 just happens to be a militant abolitionist Through Rushing Water, thankfully, avoids this problem by making Sophia an outsider to the issue of Christianising and relocating Indian groups Although Sophia has lived in the United States for several years and taught at a women s college in New York, she was brought up in Russia and also spent part of her life in France She s familiar with other cultures and races, and this allows her to see the treatment of the Poncas from a different angle from those she works with While I was initially surprised that Catherine had chosen a non American heroine for her novel, it was a pleasant surprise, especially to a reader who is also an outsider to American culture Sophia s background and experiences of other cultures brought an angle to Through Rushing Water that just couldn t have been explored with an American heroine without seeming too forced or modernised, and I commend Catherine for taking a step outside the traditional comfort zones of Christian fiction to choose a non American heroine As I mentioned previously, my biggest struggle with Spring for Susannah was the unconventional pacing of the novel When I reached the three quarters mark in Through Rushing Water and realised that Sophia s time with the Poncas was coming to an end, I did wonder if this chance of pace and location was going to affect my rating of this book But what I expected to be a flaw in this novel actually ended up making it realistic Anyone who has studied this period of history knows that Sophia couldn t have saved the Poncas from being relocated to Indian Territory, and her move to the city of Omaha actually brought a lot of contextualisation into the story Sophia s encounters with her new friends and neighbours made her realise how little the people of Nebraska knew about the local tribes and she was able to use her experiences as an opportunity to educate those who had bought into stereotypes about wild Indians As much as I love a neatly tied up happy ending, I felt that the end of Through Rushing Water was optimistic yet realistic in the way it was left open, with the hope that Sophia might still be able to help the Poncas while living in Omaha The final quarter of the novel also allows Sophia s relationship with Will to develop Some readers may be disappointed that the hero and heroine found little time to profess their love for each other while working among the Poncas, but again, this is probably quite understandable, given the stressful conditions under which they were living and working Towards the end of the book, we get the chance to see their relationship blossom under different circumstances, and Sophia and Will realise the false nature of the assumptions they had made about each other when they first met Their romance is sweet, but not the main focus of the novel That said, I did love the epilogue, which not only gives hope for the Ponca tribe but also for Sophia and Will s relationship Some epilogues can come across as cheesy in the way that they skip forward a few years to prove that the hero and heroine are still happy, but Through Rushing Water managed to avoid this while still being optimistic Through Rushing Water is far from being a conventional historical romance, considering the Russian heroine, unusual plot progression and focus on historical details over romantic intrigue I encourage potential readers to not be put off by these quirks that so endeared Through Rushing Water to me, and to take a chance on a budding author who I hope will continue to bring something original to this popular genre Review title provided by Thomas Nelson.
5 stars This was not really the best writing There was a lot of confusing dialogue and the author skipped important scenes without explanation.
However, it was one of the most honest integrations of Christianity I ve read I also liked the characters.
I would give this book a four and a half I don t want to confuse anyone but I rated it a 4 on audible.
com partly because the narration was problematic.
But the book overall gets a five star rating for its uniqueness and sticking power How many books do you walk away from and you don t remember a thing about them It won t be that way when you read this book Unfortunately the narration was poor to middling which impacted my enjoyment of this book The intonation, etc.
, of the narrator made the heroine come off as totally unsympathetic in the beginning of the book Only as the story moved on was I able to get past the problem with my listen the narrator mispronouncing French words that were spoken by the heroine, a French teacher and fluent in French, for one and this downbeat tone of depression for the heroine s voice that seems due to the narrator rather than as written A shame because the overall story is unique, has a hopeful message, and is a memorable one Catherine Richmond has no control over the narrator and had I read the book I d likely have given it a 5 Star rating Characterization was refreshing I d recommend the book but I d avoid this audible version unless, like me, you really need to hear it instead I will be reading future Richmond books but hope to avoid this narrator If I d read it myself this book would have been enjoyable lesson learned as far as this narrator Always enjoy finding new authors to love and Cathy Richmond has a lot to offer.
This is another wonderful historical offering from the gifted writer who debuted with Spring for Susannah This new inspirational novel fictionalizes the true events experienced by the Indians on the Ponca Reservation of Dakota Territory when they were forced to relocate in the middle of the winter It is true to the details of the broken promises and the horrible way the Indians were treated and brings forward one of our most embarrassing times as a nation Greed and prejudice drove so many who had the power to make decisions that impacted a whole group of people in such horrible ways.
The central character, Sophia Makinoff, is strong, self assured and planning to marry a US Congressman She has just finished college and is making her plans for a life in Washington DC, when said congressman proposes to her roommate Heartbroken and anxious to escape the talk about being jilted, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions, hoping to go to someplace like China Instead, she is assigned to the Ponca Indian Agency in Dakota Territory.
There she meets Willoughby Dunn, a man who touches her heart and her soul and teaches her the ways of the Indians and the ways of faith.
Together, they try to improve the conditions of the Indians and fight for their right to stay on the land that was given to them in the initial treaty They also forge a bond that is so solid, it carries them through the many challenges they face.
For people not familiar with what happened to the Ponca Indians, this is a sometimes harsh introduction to what they experienced at the hands of the white man But it also gives an insight into the pride and dignity and willingness of those Indians to try to assimilate, while still hanging on to their land and their birthright.
I am not normally a huge fan of inspirational fiction as sometimes the message is delivered with a hand that is too heavy, but Ms Richmond has managed to give that message of faith and hope without being preachy The key to that I think is that the faith is so much a part of the characterization that it rings true The romance is handled with the same deft hand and has the classic feel of great romances like Gone With the Wind and Casablanca, with many layers of intimacy that do not involve sex I am not a prude, and in some stories the bedroom scenes are necessary, but a book like this proves that it is possible to portray a deep love without putting the characters in bed together.
I thoroughly enjoyed Spring for Susannah and am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book.