Sunday, October 20, 2019

Historical Romance Engrossing and Faith-Promoting

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Ingrid Chastain decides to accompany her physician father on a mission to deliver smallpox vaccinations to a suffering village in Montana Territory, she has no idea the journey will change her life completely.  After their wagon crashes on an icy hill, Ingrid is left injured and alone in the middle of nowhere.  Her remote location plus the frigid winter weather makes rescue unlikely.  Not only is Ingrid in danger of dying herself, but without a miracle, the vials of precious medicine with which she's traveling will never make it to the town that needs it so desperately.
Ingrid's miracle comes in the form of a gruff mountain man named Micah Bradley.  Still grieving the loss of the wife and daughter he couldn't save from smallpox, he left his medical career five years ago.  When Micah comes across Ingrid's broken body, he's forced to call on his long-dormant doctoring skills to save her life.  

Despite her own precarious condition, Ingrid is frantic to get the vaccine to the people who need it.  When she finally convinces Micah to set out on their own mad mission, the pair embark on a journey that will test them both physically and spiritually.  Can they make it across the treacherous mountains in weather that worsens by the day?  Will they get the vaccine vials where they need to go?  Most importantly, will Micah re-discover the faith he lost five years ago or will God let him fail once again?

Christian fiction can be a hard sell for me, but I ended up quite enjoying Hope's Highest Mountain, the first book in a new series by Misty M. Beller.  The novel starts with a bang and keeps the action going at a steady pace.  While that kept me turning pages, the story really isn't about the characters' physical journeys, but about their spiritual ones.  Faith—both firm and fledgling—is at the heart of this uplifting tale.  That comes across loud and clear, but not in an irritating or preachy way.  My only real complaint about Hope's Highest Mountain has to do with character development.  Ingrid and Micah are both nice, likable characters but they're a little too nice, a little too perfect.  I would have liked more personality from both of them as well as some imperfections to help them feel more authentic.  In addition, I really wanted Ingrid to act like a heroine.  She had good intentions, but she never really did anything.  I would have liked to see more backbone and more risk-taking from her.  Overall, though, I enjoyed this clean, faith-promoting romance.  I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment in the series.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  You?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Hope's Highest Mountain from the generous folks at Bethany House via those at Celebrate Lit in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

5 comments:

  1. I'm glad this one wasn't too preachy. I do like the premise. :)

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  2. Christian fiction isn't going to work for me, but I do like the idea of survival and getting the smallpox vaccinations to the people!

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  3. I do like the historical context of this one but I generally avoid books that market themselves as (or obviously are) Christian Fiction. They are just too predictable to suit my taste.

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  4. The setting of this sounds wonderful. Not many books set in Montana.

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  5. I'm always a little hesitant when I hear "Christian Fiction" but this sounds like an wonderful story. I can see how showing a little bit more in the way of characters flaws would make the characters seem more authentic. I mean even the most devout person isn't perfect, especially in the face of what these two had to deal with. I' going to check this one out. Lovely review, Susan! :)

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