This second novel in Allison Kohn’s Baker family saga plunges fast into the lives of these interesting and inspiring characters who were introduced in the first book. It might be helpful to read the books in order, but this story can stand on its own. This huge family of grandparents, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends continues with their mid-1800s frontier lives in the Willamette Valley after their trek there from comfortable lives in Maryland.
The Bakers now are well established in Oregon, and the main story follows the life of beautiful young Diana and the growth of her Christian faith as two new settlers fall in love with her. This plot is complicated by the fact that these two young men are brothers. Another local man, a villainous character out to rob the Bakers and kidnap and harm Diana, lurks about trying to carry out his evil plan.
The personalities of many other family members and friends develop in this story, all of them with their challenges and victories. One of the most entertaining is the young girl Alice, who is headstrong, often wrong but willing to learn, brave, emotional and often confused, but funny and inspiring nonetheless. She and the other children bring some good laughs to this tale that shows the trials and feelings that pioneer north westerners must have experienced.
Some of the best scenes in the story are those in which the adults of the family teach the younger ones and the children how to face their problems with Christian faith and Christian actions. These are gentle, admirable people trying to live kind and honest lives under often difficult circumstances.
In this novel, Allison Kohn writes a tale with believable and inspiring characters who draw the reader into their lives. Two of her big talents as a writer are describing her characters and their environment. She easily helps the reader picture these people, their small frontier village, and the majestic Oregon scenery surrounding it.
This is a book well worth reading. I recommend it particularly for readers looking for inspirational fiction, for those who like romance, and for those who enjoy stories of the west.
A copy of this book was received in exchange for an honest review.