Emma Johnson --- a rancher's wife, mother of seven rambunctious young men and boys from nineteen to two years old, Colorado pioneer woman, practiced healer, devoted Christian, and the focal protagonist, among several, of Season of Forgiveness by Templa Melnick --- is one such woman.
Season of Forgiveness is the first book in the Seasons in Riverbend series. Historical fiction, set in 1904 Colorado, it paints a picture of an ever-changing lifestyle fraught with hardship, challenges, celebrations, and small victories.
Emma is the quintessential capable pioneer woman, deftly managing a hectic household, maintaining some semblance of a social life with her colorful neighbors, and separating squabbling children. She even manages to find time to help three women, each having been abused or abandoned or both, and solve a devious scheme.
If I could wish one improvement upon the work, it would be, in fact, that Emma seems two-dimensional in many ways: the stereotypical staunch Christian without many personal struggles or faults. An example thereof is evident in her forgiving even a man who tried to rape and harm her; that conversation passes in the text with an ease that struck me as necessarily unconvincing, as I know very few Christians who could so cheerfully have done the same.
The story is densely written, as most historical novels are. Its sub-genres might be classified light suspense and family drama, but the work is above all faith-based, and Emma's faith is admirably portrayed.
Written in the much the same style as the Little House series, in which protagonist Laura Ingalls Wilder simply recounts the routines and expectations that defined her childhood and is not necessarily concerned with an overarching plot arc or personal character development, Season of Forgiveness is a feel-good novel, perfect for a rainy afternoon.
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Author: Templa Melnick
Title: Season of Forgiveness
Series: Seasons in Riverbend (#1)
Purchase here: http://cladach.com/Season-of-Forgiveness.html
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.