Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Story Description: 
Baker Publishing Group|October 1, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7642-0788-4 
A compelling pioneer story from bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer.  
Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity.  She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train.  But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future.  As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him? 
My Review: 
Twenty-four-year-old Tarsie Raines met her friend Mary Brubacher a year ago and had been best friends ever since.  Mary was a sickly woman with bad lungs and the air in New York City didn’t help her condition nor did the fact her husband, Joss, insisted on having the bedroom window open at night.  Tarsie always carried her Aunts medicinal pouch with her and on this morning it was needed.  When Tarsie entered Mary’s apartment the children were playing on their own as Mary was in bed with another fever.  Tarsie prayed that God would see fit to have Mary move out of New York.  As a matter of fact, Tarsie had found a tattered copy of James Redpath’s Handbook of Kansas in an alley a week ago.  She hoped to convince Joss to move Mary there.  
Tarsie pulled the handbook out and showed it to Mary and began to read aloud a section: “Drayton Valley…has the best rock-bound landing and is the best town site on the Missouri River.”  With Joss’s experience working at the docks he’d have no problem finding work there, the air would be fresh and clean for Mary and the two children, Emmy and Nathaniel.  Moving to Kansas might also deter Joss from wasting so much of his wages in New York’s saloons and on gambling. 
Joss was in deep debt from gambling and didn’t have the money to repay.  He thought hard about Mary’s desire to move to Kansas and thought that would be a good way to escape having to repay his debt.  He told Mary to start packing and be ready to leave Monday.  Mary refused to leave New York without her best friend, Tarsie so she was going to Kansas with them. 
Soon they were on their way boarding a train for Chicago, then three more to reach Des Moines, Iowa where they’d join in a wagon train to Kansas.  After finding a wagon at a livery, the Brubacher’s and Tarsie set out on the last leg of their journey.  Then tragedy strikes and forces Joss and Tarsie into a situation that neither is comfortable with but for the sake of the children they haven’t much choice.  Will they ever reach Kansas?  Will Tarsie and Joss even stay together?
A Home in Drayton Valley is a satisfying page-turner that I just couldn’t put down.  It kept me reading long into the night. 
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

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