Saturday, July 9, 2011
Book Review: The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz/4.5 Stars
One woman searches for love--and herself--in a wild land.
Lovely and high-spirited, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father's ties to the Shawnee Indians and her family's past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. As she faces the many trials of life on the frontier, Lael draws strength from the rugged land. But the arrival of a handsome doctor threatens her view of her world, her God, and herself. Can the power of grace and redemption break through in this tumultuous place?
This epic novel gives you a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman who would not be defeated.
It was clear to me right away why all of my friends love Laura Frantz's books. Seriously, she has got a way with words that very few authors can replicate. It's an almost lyrical, haunting style that transported me to the back hills of Kentucky (referred to as Kentucke), and drew me into the relationships between Lael, Ma Horn, Ian, and Susanna, that it was oh-so-very-hard to turn that final page.
I couldn't help but compare The Frontiersman's Daughter to two other stories that I've watched and/or read about over and over--Christy by Catherine Marshall (book) and Dr. Quinn (tv show). Ian reminded me a great deal of the doctor (his name escapes me, but he's also from Scotland) from Christy that had to slowly gain acceptance in an area full of superstitious people, while also silently carrying a torch for Christy herself. Then, Lael reminded me a bit of Dr. Quinn because of her care and concern for the Indians. Lael didn't have as much contact with them in this book as Dr. Quinn did in the tv show, but her father did when she was a young girl, and the lessons he taught her early on about them stayed with her the rest of her life.
For those who can't get enough stories about this area and these people, and also enjoy a slow-paced story, I would suggest checking out Jan Watson (Sweetwater Run and Still House Pond are two that I've read). Personally, all these back-woods-type stories are starting to grow on me, and I know it won't be long before Courting Morrow Little makes it way into my hot little hands, quickly followed by The Colonel's Lady. :o) My rating is 4.5 Stars.