Tag Archive | Oregon Trail

“Treasured Grace” by Traci Peterson

Traci Peterson has another winning novel in “Treasured Grace”.  Traci has written twenty series of books, some in collaboration with another author.  I have read quite a few of them.  “Treasured Grace” begins along the Oregon Trail in 1847 with the death of Grace’s husband, a narrow-minded preacher.  Grace was forced to marry him in able to join a wagon train going to Oregon because a woman alone could not make the trip.  She and her two sisters were orphans and were trying to get to her uncle in Oregon.  After the untimely death of her husband (in name only), Grace was forced to winter over at the Whitman Mission.  Dr. Whitman built the mission to bring the gospel to the Indians, the Cayuse and Nez Perce.  He is an arrogant man and refuses to allow Grace, with her knowledge of healing medicine and herbs, to tend the sick.  After an outbreak of measles which was a deadly sickness to the Indians, Dr. Whitman and the mission were attacked and many were killed, including Dr. Whitman and his wife.  Grace, along with a trapper who she comes to love, do all they can to save those who are ill and rescue those whom the Indians are holding hostage.

Ms. Peterson does a great job of incorporating real historical events with the tales she writes.  Obviously she has an inexhaustible aptitude for giving her readers abundant stories in historical fiction.  I will continue to appreciate her talents as long as she writes.

I received a print copy of this book from Baker Publishing in return for my honest review.

“This Road We Traveled”by Jane Kirkpatrick

Tabitha Moffat Brown is known as “The Mother of Oregon”.  By using her diary entries and other historical writings, Jane Kirkpatrick has written her story of Tabby’s journey to Oregon with her family, “This Road We Traveled”.  Ms. Kirkpatrick has done extensive research into the life of Mrs. Brown and has built her story around that.  At first, Tabby’s son did not want her to travel with them over the Oregon Trail because he thought that at her age of 65 she would not survive the hardships they would encounter and would slow them down.  Tabitha was not one to give up however and was determined not to be left behind without her children, her son Orus and his family, and her daughter Pherne and her family.  Even though one son Manthano and his family decided not to make the trip, Tabby decided to go anyway.  The survival of her and the other family members at times depended on Tabitha and her fortitude and perseverance.  Despite illness, inclement weather, equipment breakdowns, non-existent trails, starvation and the deaths of so many, Tabby and her family pressed on.

This account of some of the settlers who braved the Oregon Trail to find a better life and new land is fascinating because it actually is based on the real journey of Tabitha Moffat Brown and her family.  How these pioneers braved the elements, Indians, starvation, loneliness and fear to find a new life is something I will never be able to understand.  They left their homes with little of their possessions and most had to part with even that along the sometimes treacherous trail.  Some arrived at their destination destitute and with the clothes on their backs; and yet forged on to create a new life in a new part of America.

I received a free print copy of this book from Revell for my review.  No review positive or otherwise was required – all opinions are my own.

“The Trail Beyond” by Sally Demaray Hull

“The Trail Beyond” is Book #1 in the Trails series, written by Sally Demaray Hull.  It is a Christian fiction book taking place along the Oregon Trail.

Rachel Nathan is a spoiled, prissy daughter of a wealthy Boston banker, her father, who has lost their family fortune and decides to take her and her brother Johnny to Oregon to start over.  Theirs is one of the wagons in a train headed by an unscrupulous wagon master.  Of course Rachel’s father doesn’t know one end of a wagon from another so the family finds it hard going.  Rachel is determined that she will not mingle with the “riffraff” and will keep her brother from playing with “their sort”.  She is also very anti-Irish.  This sets the stage for the rest of the novel.

I thought I might like this book after reading the synopsis.  I though the idea of a staid Boston miss getting her comeuppance along the wagon’s way would be highly entertaining.  However, I didn’t bargain for the constant Christian preaching written in the novel.  It was over-kill.  I also expected the wagon train to run into pestilence and problems along the way, but I didn’t expect that this wagon would end up alone on the trail because of a mean wagon master; and that they would be visited by snakes, bears, wolves, smallpox, Indians, tornadoes, snow storms and who knows how many other deterrents during this short book.  It was too much!  I would have marched myself back to Boston on foot!  I also found it quite laughable that at the end of the novel, the wagon only had to cross a hill and lo and behold…they were miraculously in Oregon.

I am very sorry, but I would not recommend reading this book.  It seems like the author wanted to get as many old west horror stories.  After reading chapter after chapter of worries and woes and becoming frustrated by the relationship between Rachel and her Irish preacher husband – yes that is just what I meant – I could not take this book seriously.  I won’t be reading any more books in this series.

I downloaded a free Kindle copy of this book on Amazon.com.  I am posting my honest review of the book.