In the high desert town of Frenchman’s Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community’s new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. But, there are those who never wanted her there to begin with.
Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm’s inexperience doesn’t sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity’s heart will be broken once again.
A woman who hasn’t known love. A man who lost the love he had.
In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life’s bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.
Do you ever look at the dedications or the Bible verses that appear at the start of a book? Often they can give a great clue as to what will be revealed. Belonging‘s Bible verse is from Romans 8:28. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those are called according to His purpose.” (NASB) And that’s what happens in this first of a new series by Robin Lee Hatcher.
Felicia is escaping a not so wonderful past. She constantly receives letters from ‘home’ containing both rebukes for her apparent selfishness and an offer of marriage. Colin is widowed, and trying to avoid returning back east as his mother-in-law requests. His daughter, Charity, takes an immediate liking to the new school teacher who offers to give her private reading lessons. When the town matriarch – with plans of her own regarding her widowed daughter in law, Kathleen, and Colin – learns of the arrangement she sets out to make life as difficult as possible for all concerned.
Robin Lee Hatcher’s characters are a delight and all are strongly written. You get a sense of the individuality of each one, even those who only appear via letter. The secondary story regarding Kathleen is equally lovely and I hope I’ll catch glimpses of her in the upcoming books.
Page Count: 288
Release Date: 16 August 2011