Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Prairie Song By Mona Hodgson Book Review

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{R e v i e w   B y   M a d i}
Title: Prairie Song
Author: Mona Hodgson
Source: Review Book
Number Of Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-0-307-73116-6
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2013
My Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars
/ / B o o k   D e s c r i p t i o n / /
The first step in a challenging journey is often the one that means the most.
Though it means saying goodbye to the beloved friends and spiritual mentors of her St. Charles, Missouri quilting circle, Anna Goben is certain that she needs to enlist her family in the Boones Lick Company wagon train. The loss of her beloved brother in the Civil War has paralyzed her mother and grandfather in a malaise of grief and depression and Anna is convinced that only a fresh start in the Promised Land of California can bring her family back to her. Although the unknown perils of the trail west loom, Anna’s commitment to caring for her loved ones leaves no room for fear—or even loving someone new. 

During the five-month journey, trail hand Caleb Reger plans to keep a low profile as he watches over the band of travelers. Guarding secrets about his past and avoiding God’s calling on his life, Caleb wants to steer as far from Anna as she does him, but she proves to be just as he assessed her from the beginning— independent, beautiful trouble.

Led by a pillar of hope, the group faces rough terrain that begins to take a toll on their spirits. Will the wilderness of suffering lead them astray, or will the gentle song of love that echoes across the prairie turn their hearts toward God’s grace and the promise of a new home?
/ / M a d i ' s   B o o k   R e v i e w / /
 Prairie Song is a historical novel about a couple of young women on their way across the quiet and lonesome prairie as part of a wagon train. Both are leaving great grief behind them, and hoping to make a new start in the West.
There are so many surprises when you are travelling the old fashioned way! Broken arms, crazy horses and cattle, deaths, births, camp fire Bible studies, and all that good Southern stuff. This book appealed to my sense of adventure, that's for sure! There was always enough going on to keep me interested, and I feel like the author did a very good job of incorporating encouraging words in tiresome situations. And what good novel doesn't have a little bit of conflict? Problems arose, and were handled the best way possible; with a level head and a practical, unbiased viewpoint.
There were a few things, however, that I was not overly fond of where this book is concerned. First of all, I don't feel like the author gave enough back-story on her characters before starting right in on the story. It made it harder to connect with the characters and see where they were coming from. Though she filled in the blanks by the end of the book, I think that knowing something about the characters a little bit sooner would have enhanced this story considerably. I also wasn't thrilled with the lack of emotion the characters showed at times. It kind of seemed like sometimes words were used as a bridge just to get through one scene and onto another, and that certain parts were irrelevant.
Now, that being said, there several things that I really truly enjoyed about Prairie Song. Before the first chapter even began there was a page the quoted Joshua 1:9: "Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." That is my all time favorite verse, and it has gotten me through some trialing situations, so I was fairly excited to see Mona use this as the intro to her book and incorporate it into her story. I also really excited that one of the main characters is a redhead. Fellow gingers unite!
~The Literary Maidens
Note: I was provided with a free print copy of "Prairie Song"  by blogging for books in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not paid to review this book nor was I forced to give a good review if I did not find it deserving.

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