In Woman of Courage, Wanda Brunstetter has penned an amazing, historical fiction novel of two women's brave quest through the perilous wilderness -- where dangers of wild animals, savage Indians, immoral men, and inclement weather jeopardize them on every hand.
After her fiance rejects her the night before her wedding, Amanda Pearson, a lovely young Quaker, sets off with her father on a journey through the wilderness to be a missionary to the Nez Perce Indians. On the trail Amanda is nursed back to health by Mary, an Indian woman who was kidnapped by the Blackfoot tribe years earlier. Mary is desperate to get back to her people, the Nez Perce, and together with babies in tow, they begin the long trek through the perilous, savage frontier. Amongst the dangers on the trail, Amanda finds herself engulfed in another that threatens to take her soul...a romance with a half-breed who is not of her faith.
I have read Ms. Brunstetter's Amish fiction, so when she wrote a well researched historical I was quite blown away! This exciting story of faith, hope, courage, and redemption is her best work in my opinion, and a must read for all lovers of historical fiction!
Prior to reading Woman of Courage, I'd never read a Wanda Brunstetter novel. I thought it'd be worth trying even though romance books aren't usually my thing. It moved a little slow for me but that's partially due to my preference and the fact that she was developing the characters and story. I appreciate the clean romance that doesn't seem like romance, at first. The relationship between Amanda and the guy (who I won't reveal the name of so that I don't spoil it) seems more real than a lot of other relationships you'll read about in other romance novels. Definitely will be trying other books by this author!
This is historical fiction. Although the lead character is Mennonite, the book doesn't really focus on the annabaptist culture like some of the other Amish Fiction books would. So if you shy away from Amish Fiction, don't think that A Woman of Courage can be lumped into that genre.
This book does not quit. The action starts at the very beginning when our heroine, Amanda, is left by her fiancee the night before she is to be married. It is this pivotal moment in her life that causes her to examine her calling. She and her father sell everything, leave New York, and head west to join a missionary couple already ministering to the Nez Perce Indians. I don't want to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, you will not believe what happens to Amanda on the trail west! And after she connects with a couple trappers and one trapper's wife, the action does not stop there. As a matter of fact, the twists and turns in the story don't really stop until the very end.
If I offered one criticism it is that the way the Indians are portrayed seems a little stereotypical. Maybe Indians of the time period really did talk in the stilted, "Me not know about that..." way of speaking, but it did sometimes seem a little trite. But that is easily overlooked with the story line.
I enjoyed A Woman of Courage by Wanda Brunstetter very much. It is very good historical fiction. I learned about myself and how I want to be the type of woman who does not give up when she knows God is with her like Amanda did. I learned that I give up too easily. And Amanda is an inspiration to me.
Wanda E. Brunstetter in her new book, Woman Of Courage published by Shiloh Run Press takes us into the life of Amanda Pearson.
From the Back Cover: A Quaker woman dares the unknown to be a missionary.
Jilted by her fianc in 1837, Amanda Pearson gives up on romance and turns to her Quaker faith for reassurance. She becomes determined to follow the Rev. and Mrs. Spalding three thousand miles into the western wilderness to minister to the Nez Perce Indians. The trip is fraught with danger, and soon Amanda finds herself recovering from near death in a trappers cabin. His Indian wife becomes Amandas first convert, but the trapper and his intriguing half-Indian friend want nothing to do with Christians. Will they still help her reach the mission in the Lapwai Valley?
The story begins in 1837 Dansville, NY where Amanda is rejected by her fiance the day before the wedding. To fill the void and hide the pain she and her father begin a 3,000 mile journey to the Wyoming Territory to minister to the Nez Perce Indians. You would not think it would be this much trouble but for Amanda she almost doesnt make it. Ms. Brunstetter has crafted an adventure as Amanda leaves home for the first time and meets people that she would never have met had she stayed in NY. The journey takes nine months and Ms. Brunstetter fills it with characters and events that show not only the harshness that had to be endured but also the warmth and help of some people. Amanda is a fascinating character and the story is very exciting and interesting. Woman of Courage will hold your interest, keep you flipping pages and give you something to think about even long after you have finished this wonderful book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Handlebar for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.