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To Love a Stranger
•°o•:*:•.Diverting, but feels rushed .•:*:• o°•
Bessie Randall is age twenty-six from a prestigious family in Boston. She is the older, plainer and quieter sister to Lenore, who is beautiful, and toast of the town at age twenty-one. On a whim, Lorna has decided to correspond with a handsome soldier, from Fort Bridger, Utah Territory, who is interested in marriage. She thought nothing would come of it, but the letters continued over six months. She had used her older sister’s name, knowing her parents would never approve of her writing. When he asked for a marriage by proxy, it sounded exciting, so she just did it. Then she met Richard and changed her mind. She tells her sister, “I know you would like Jasper. And you’d make a much better soldier’s wife than I would”. Bessie feels both betrayed, and bound to a promise made in her name. Fearing her sister may even go to jail, she agrees to follow through on the marriage.
Jasper is smitten with the beautiful photo of Lenore, who he thinks is “his” Bessie, and feels connected to her through their many letters. Knowing she craves adventure, he intends to surprise her with the fact his regiment is being reassigned to the untamed land of Arizona, filled with Indians, and other dangers. When the real Bessie arrives, he feels duped and betrayed. Bessie prays he will accept her and not send her packing. He has little choice when his timetable gets moved up. Either try to deal with the situation along the way, or leave her behind, legally married to him. They decide to wait until they get to Phoenix to figure out the best course. Along the way, Bessie finds an Indian baby, destined to die in the dessert. They immediately help care for the baby, and Jasper discovers there may be more to this tiny waif of a woman than he originally thought. They encounter hardships together, and walk on eggshells with each other, constantly assuming and reevaluating things in their minds, as they muddle through their new relationship. They finally agree to use the Bible as a road map for love, and try to figure out God’s direction for that. FAVORITE QUOTE: The Lord called me as His own when I was ten years old. I will do my best to raise my daughter in the ways of Jesus as we travel among my people to tell them of His love.” Thomas, Ch. 15
Because this book is only 224 pages, it felt quite rushed to me. I would have liked things to develop at a more realistic pace. It is well written, but also lacked the mystery element this author is usually famous for. It is a nice diversion, and I easily read it in one evening. I also noticed more than one cover. I liked the one featured on NetGalley, but I did not care for the one I saw on Christian Book Discounters, which appears dated.
I recommend this book as a light read, and appreciate receiving an advance eCopy through NetGalley. My opinion is my own.
HHHH (4 stars)
Thomas Nelson Publ., scheduled for release June 19, 2016 - UPDATE: THIS BOOK APPEARS TO BE A REPACKAGED BOOK FROM 2000, PER THE LINK SHOWN IN GOODREADS.