Title: Treasured Grace
Author: Tracie Peterson
Publisher: Bethan House Publishers
Copyright: February 28, 2017
Format: E-Book, 320 Pages, $9.02 [Amazon Paperback], $15.31 [Amazon Hardcopy], $8.53 [Kindle], $19.59 [Audible], $9.27 [Barnes & Noble Paperback], $15.61 [Barnes & Noble Hardcopy], $9.99 [Nook], $8.63 [Google Play], $10.99 [iBooks], $23.95 [iBooks Audiobooks]
Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters became her responsibility. A hasty marriage to a minister who is heading to the untamed West seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start, but a cholera outbreak along the wagon trail has left Grace a widow in a very precarious position.
Having learned natural remedies and midwifery from her mother, Grace seeks an opportunity to use her skills for the benefit of others. So when she and her sisters arrive at the Whitman mission in “Oregon Country,” she decides to stay rather than push on.
With the help of Alex Armistead, a French-American fur trapper, Grace begins to provide care for her neighbors, including some of the native populace. But not everyone welcomes her skills–or her presence–and soon Grace finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible.
I graciously received a free copy of Treasured Grace from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
The Oregon Trail is no easy place for the three Flanagan sisters in 1847. As the eldest sister, Grace, widow of the late Right Reverend T.S. Martindale, keeps her small family together despite difficult circumstances and locales. Others are surprised when Grace doesn’t seem to be mourning her husband at all. The truth is that she never truly loved the self-serving Right Reverend Martindale and only married him for convenience sake (as it enabled her to travel west with her sisters). Ever since their parents passed away, Grace has always acted in a maternal way towards her two younger sisters, Hope and Mercy. Hope, often considered the loveliest, is the second eldest sister who has a sweet nature and a zest for life, while Mercy is still very much a precocious little girl.
As the three sisters make it to the Whitman Mission, run by Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife, Mrs. Narcissa Whitman, Grace receives unwanted attentions from a would-be suitor, Nigel Grierson. In addition, Grace, who has extensive healing experience, seems to constantly but head with Dr. Whitman who insists that he is the best medical caregiver there. When Grace meets the handsome French-American fur trapper by the name of Alexander Armistead, her life takes an interesting turn. It seems that the two have an immediate chemistry. To make matters worse, the relations between the Cayuse tribe and the Caucasian settlers is steadily growing worse and worse. The situation is like a volcano about to erupt at any minute.
Tracie Peterson’s Treasured Grace was a scenic but visceral journey that felt so real and engrossing. As the characters had their conflict, felt the feelings of love, and faced tragedy at certain points, I felt like I was there the entire time. The character I have to say I connected the most to was Hope, the middle sister of the Flanagan sisters. Of all the characters, I have to say that she was the most dynamic and interesting. To go into more detail about this would be to give away spoilers, so all I will say is that she has such a big heart. The other characters were dynamic and there were some that you just loved to dislike. For example, Dr. Whitman and Telokite. Alexander Armistead, Grace’s sweetheart really fell flat for me. Yes, he lived a fascinating life but I didn’t feel much of an emotional connection in regards to him. Gabriel, the good friend of Alex, was someone that I was very emotionally invested in. He made me smile and cry. For me, this is the hallmark of a good author, to move you to such strong emotions that you feel it long after you finish the novel.
Ms. Peterson’s prose was intriguing, refreshing, and, in certain parts, heartwarming. She described the world of the Oregon Trail and the American West with such precision and clarity that (as I stated before), I could have been standing there beside the characters. What I also liked about her descriptions was that they weren’t too wordy and that the story flowed smoothly. The dialogue kept the story going but it didn’t particularly grip me in anyway. It was more so the actions and the descriptions that really kept my attention. Some universal themes I was able to discern were: family, faith, and survival. These three themes were the strongest ones that I could really think of at the moment. The tone and atmosphere of the novel, while dark in certain situations, struck me ultimately as hopeful.
In closing, I really enjoyed Ms. Peterson’s Treasured Grace and I will be delighted to read any story of hers in the future.