From Publishers Weekly
Evenhanded and lively portrayals of Christian missionaries and Dakota Indians distinguish this novel by the author of the popular Prairie Wind series. Genevieve LaCroix is a blue-eyed "half-breed," the daughter of a Sioux mother and a French father. At age 18, she is sent to live with a missionary couple, the Reverend Dane and his wife, Ellen. "Gen" befriends Ellen Dane (who is based on the real-life Minnesota settler Mary Ann Longley Riggs), but dislikes her husband, who, she believes, has only disdain for Indian customs. Death haunts the story: Ellen dies in childbirth (as does the baby, her third), and dozens of men are murdered when, in 1862, the Sioux rise up against their white neighbors. Gen risks her life to save the Danes' two surviving children. After the violence abates, the Rev. Dane confesses that he has fallen in love with Gen; his transformation from a removed, austere patriarch to a loving, emotive nurturer is surprisingly convincing. The religious themes are clear enough to please Christian readers, but subtle enough that they won't be off-putting to others. Fans of prairie fiction will be grateful that Whitson refrains from populating her pages with every important historical figure who set foot in the West during the 1860s, and that she spares us tedious attempts at folksy dialect. Instead, she serves up believable and sympathetic characters, conveying the atrocities that Americans of European descent committed against Native Americans without losing sight of the settlers' complicated, and often benevolent, motives. The ending, though not a stunning surprise, is far from the predictable conclusion featured in most historical romances.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska, USA, since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four homeschooled children Nebraska history, she was encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord 's Book of the Year. Her first non-fiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. Her interests include pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture.