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on December 2, 2013
It's not often that I can't finish a book but I just couldn't with this one. It got to the point where the most I couldn't do any more than skim some pages.

There were too many things I just couldn't forgive, and I'll list them for your review reading pleasure:
1. Daniel's accent, and the accent of the other Australians in the story. The way that the author wrote it phonetically drove me bonkers. It kept jolting me out of the story. It just didn't flow naturally at all. When characters in a book are from a different background, as I reader I keep this in the back of my mind. I don't need annoying phonetic accent drivel written into the dialogue. It's much easier to prove people are from different places but their use of language and turn of phrase rather than trying to write an accent.
2. Rebecca. There was nothing about her that was remotely likeable. She seemed ignorant and rude. She gained a little more humility towards the end, but not much.
3. Daniel. He was horrible and provided no support to his wife.
4. The way the author referenced Aboriginal people. It seemed quite offensive, referring to one character as 'half-caste', and talking about Aboriginal people being cannibals. I am Australian and have never, EVER heard of any cannibal Aboriginal people.
5. Jim. I didn't understand why the author introduced this character, who Rebecca seemed attracted to (and he had to be American of course). Well, I do, because the consequences drove a huge part of the story, but it just seemed so ridiculously contrived.
6. What I hated most about this story was how the woman lost her spark in order to please the pathetic man she'd married. A man who distrusted her to the very end, and she still went back to him. I know it's a Christian novel and divorce isn't really an option, but to me it's more damaging and un-Christian to promote, via fiction, the message that it's OK to spend your life with someone who emotionally abuses you. Ridiculous.

Overall I'm really disappointed in this book and won't buy any of the books out of this series. I have read a couple of Bonnie Leon's Alaska series and though it's probably very historically inaccurate, I did enjoy them.
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on October 24, 2014
I read this book and throughout the entire book it was depressing. I kept reading to see if maybe it would get better but sadly it didn't. I feel the book was not well thought out. The ending was lacking to say the least. Ending too abruptly without apologies that were clearly due.
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on June 4, 2016
It is very rare for me to write a bad review but this one gets only one star!! I trudged through the first 14 chapters then had to skim and skip chapters. Even with skipping chapters I felt like to entire story was drawn out and painful! I have read other books by Bonnie Leon and enjoy but this book was just painful to get through.
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on June 2, 2017
A very well written book. I honestly did not like the father and his demanding ways plus his thinking that he was doing what God wanted him to do & his quoting only 'some' scriptures that put him in authority to do what he wanted to.
This was a book about what happens to some people because of how they are raised but also includes other people who just allowed this man to have so much control. Yet there is love and forgiveness and growing. And I feel from the book that even the 'blacks' in Australia would be drawn more toward the white man's God -if this story was continued. Just as many other whites will be drawn closer to God & His word, the Bible just because of this man and how he came to truly know God.
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on December 16, 2016
Enjoyed this book. Both of the characters had alot to face in their lives. Daniel had a very domineering father. Rebecca had a father who loved her but always put her in her place. Tragedy struck for her and Daniel stepped in when she needed him. Though it was a marriage of convience. Her aunt wanted her to accept it because of the situation so she did. Their relationship was of the friendly sort at first. But Rebecca became to independent when she got to Australia. Daniel had started to fall in love with her but she hadn't got there yet. He also had not mentioned much about his family. So they were a total suprise to Rebecca. She fell in love with Daniel mum right off. But with his dad it was a diffrent story altogether. She also became friends with diffrent ones on the station and surroding area. One particular relationship almost destroyed their marriage. It happned to both of them in their relationship with others. The father ruled the station and the surrounding area with a iron hand. The people took to it a Rebecca couldn't even Daniel cowed down to it. But when he had enough he finally stood up to his father. Before this Rebecca was going to leave him. The father hostility toward Rebecca and even Daniel killed him. Rebecca finally came to love Daniel even through the turmoil and heartache. A very interesting story by Bonnie Leon. It was good to read a story based mainly in Australia once again. I will read more into the series at a later date. It was a hard country to live in way back then.
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on April 19, 2015
Take note: this review contains some spoilers. I apologize in advance, but I don't know any other way to explain why I did not like this book.

Upon the sudden death of her father, Rebecca finds she is left penniless due to her father's debts, and opts for a marriage of convenience to escape dependency on the charity of relatives. Upon her arrival in her new husband's home in Queensland, Australia, Rebecca finds herself at the mercy of a tyrannical father-in-law who rules with the absolute control of a religious cult leader. Meanwhile, her new husband is gone for days on end to his work on the station (ranch) and is constantly running off with the former girlfriend whom he claims is just there to assist with the work. Even worse, Rebecca's husband refuses to defend her against her father-in-law's cruelty. Learning she is pregnant, Rebecca concludes that her only option to escape the living hell she is in is to leave Australia and return to her home in Boston. However, she then learns that her father-in-law intends to hold her prisoner until the birth of her child. Once her child is born, she is told, she may leave, but the child stays. The father-in-law sees his wife, daughter-in-law, children, and grandchildren as property. As if the story could not get any worse, the husband's ex-girlfriend starts a rumor that Rebecca has had an affair with a farmhand, and Rebecca is ostracized by her husband and her community.

While the story is redeemed in the last couple chapters, it comes much too late in the book and concludes abruptly. Even with the good resolution, I still felt the pure evilness of the father-in-law's behavior was glossed over. The story could have also used editing for the Australian accent.
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This is an excellent story that encourages the reader in times of trial. The heroin Rebecca leaves her homeland of the U.S.A. and travels with her new husband to live in the remote outback of Queensland, Australia in the 1800's. Not only does she have to overcome homesickness but also the fact that she comes under the leadership of a tyrant father-in-law. It is a beautiful story of courage through adversity, learning to cope in a foreign land, and a growing love for a husband married for convenience. I personally found this book to be a challenge to my own faith. The morals weaved cleverly thought the story, encourage the reader to see their own shortcomings, and that the most important aspect of the Christian life, is forgiveness and love. Anyone who picks up this story to read, will be encouraged to live their life to the best of their ability. They will see that in the end, a humble contrite heart wins. A must read.
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on March 11, 2017
'The Heart of Thornton Creek' is an engaging story of Rebecca moving from her home in Boston to her new husband's family station in Australia. Her father-in-law, Mr. Bertram Thornton uses parts of God's Word to rule over his family and community and is outraged when his son, Daniel, brings home his high society Yankee bride, Rebecca, instead of the chosen Australian family friend. As the story unfolds, the depth of the characters come alive as the reader begins to recognize the reflections of our own struggles. Will Rebecca be able to reconcile God's Will while trying to be obedient under the harsh rule of her father in law? Can she learn to love her husband under the Harsh rule of Bertram Thornton in his untamed land? This story reminds us not only to read and know God's Word, but also seek His heart with our own hearts, so that we may love everyone as Jesus loves us.
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on December 25, 2016
This story was decent and evoked emotion even though I don't think the writing is the best. There's a lot of "telling" rather than showing (saying "she was angry" rather than letting the reader deduce such through viewing actions and dialogue). The situations seemed contrived at points (college-educated woman in late 1800s or early 1900s who were allowed to help in dad's law firm research but never hooked into family or business finance... why would she think she could become a partner without that exposure? Why wasn't she interested in that side of the business? ...successful lawyer who mismanaged his personal funds but who never scaled back on expenses at home or disclosed his debt-level... no signs of prior financial stress?). Seems like a lot of modern biblical interpretation stuffed into an earlier time period (anachronistic, convenient but unrealistic "argument")
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on January 9, 2017
The author would have written a more authentic book is she had set her story in her own culture, or one she was more familiar with. Reading 'roight' through the story in place of 'right' was irritating.

The metric system was not used in Australia until 1970s
The expression 'No worries' had its origin in the 1960s
The Australian accent used in the 1870s would have sounded more British
A group of kangaroos is called a mob.
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