Sunday, April 9, 2017

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

Treasured Grace

Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters, Hope and Mercy, became her responsibility. A hasty decision to head west seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start but has instead left Grace in a precarious position. When missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife agree to let Grace and her sisters stay at their mission for the winter, Grace is grateful. Until they hear from their uncle in Oregon City, the three sisters have nowhere else to go.
(excerpt from back of book)

Tracie Peterson is a well known name in the  world of Christian fiction and Peterson's fans will be excited to see another series occupying their shelves.
Overall, Treasured Grace falls  very much within Peterson's style: central female heroine in a researched historical setting facing period accurate challenges and potentially finding love along the way.

However, there were some changes, compared to previous offerings that long term fans will find apparent.

First, I found Peterson to provide a plethora of strong secondary characters like Gabe and Sam. Honestly, I would love a well written book in the series  to focus solely on Sam and his family as he had a certain draw to him as he grieved the passing of his lifestyle. That said, this strengthening of the secondary characters left me feeling that it was at the expense of the primary trio of sisters. I really wanted to connect with these girls, especially give the drama they were experiencing, but they just felt too far removed.

Second the historical events. While most books in this genre tend to tame down unsettling events, Peterson chooses not to shy away from the violence which was possible given her characters environment. Topics range from outbreaks of illness leading to the death of children, to rape, to the covering of a massacre. While I normally appreciate a book that isn't afraid to go into heavier topics, and I really admired Peterson's ability to address the emotional turmoil such events could have on survivors, there just wasn't the time for readers to catch their breath with  lighter events.
It felt a little unsettling considering the genre and the lack of warning.

As I said, fans will find the majority of Treasured Grace an enjoyable read that has the potential to grow into a solid trilogy thanks to Peterson's overall skill in writing and weaving in a strong gospel message. For others, the tone of the book combined with a distant set of main characters will probably leave this book forgotten over time,

3 out of 5 stars

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

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