Copper is a strong and free-spirited young woman growing up along the banks of Troublesome Creek. As a newborn her mother died in a tragic accident and now Pepper lives with her scarred father who is still dealing with loss and her bitter and harsh stepmother/aunt.
The book follows Copper's life through ages 15-17 from the time she comes of age and begins to resent everyone making decisions for her, to the day she marries city doctor Simon Corbett. Peppered throughout the novel are also lengthy flashbacks to her parent's courtship and early marriage.
Although I enjoyed the book, I was disapointed by the ending, and felt the auther tried to rationalize away Copper's poor marriage choice by describing her subject's fascination with city doctor Corbett's "lavender starched shirts" concealing rippling muscles as "true love". The bulk of this novel focuses on Copper's love for the mountains, about her fascination with the earth and knowledge of it, and quite a bit of her time is spent with a boy who truly seems to love her and, while not necessarily exciting or sexually arousing, has a good heart, cares for others, and is hardworking. I felt like the author took the easy path by introducing a fancy character in the last few chapters who made Copper's heart beat, but who clearly had much lower standards than her other marriage option. (impatient, led by his impulses and not true to his word) thus following the path of so many cheap romantic writers by stamping passion as love.
As Christians (for this IS a Christian novel with strong religious tones) we are taught that love is something much deeper than emotions or first impressions. I was disapointed that Jan Watson didn't take the high road and write a novel about something so much more valuable.