I enjoy reading Christian fiction, but this story doesn't read like Christian fiction, it reads like a sermon. Instead of the religion being a part of the character development and the plotting, the author seems to be hell bent, pardon the pun, on beating the reader over the head with heavy-handed sermonizing that drags down the story and makes it hard to wade through. Her ideas about Christianity are more suited to folks who would be shocked by all the fighting of urges that goes on in this book. Her conclusions and statements at times were insulting. It was the fault of the woman, who was told by her doctor she could die if she got pregnant, that her husband turned to a prostitute? Because she asks him to abstain from sex that could lead to a pregnancy that could kill her? The writer has her conclude it was her fault he strays. The heroine even asks her why she can't take female preventatives and the woman blames her Catholicism. Really? What female preventatives were available in the early to mid 1800's? I finished this from sheer stubbornness, but it wasn't an enjoyable book.
The book had the most laughable collection of plot elements I've ever seen. It was almost as if the writer wrote a list of all the possible elements of a prairie Christian fiction story and tried desperately to work them all in. We have the grieving widow, the grieving widower, the grieving mother who has lost her only child, the misunderstood and badly behaved little child who just needs love, the reformed alcoholic, the straying husband, the abused wife, the man abused by his father--desperate not to repeat the cycle, the reformed prostitute, the wayward wife who comes home, the cross-cultural marriage between a White man and a Native American woman, the biracial child it produces and the resulting bigotry of the community, there is the rogue who threatens the virtue of our heroine, we have the prodigal son who errs and then returns home, and the woman who the doctors have told she will die if she gets pregnant but who puts her faith in God and gets pregnant again.
No wonder this book was such a mess.