When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but also for the Texas ranch her father recently acquired. A marriage of convenience could ease her predicament… but is it the true desire of her heart?
Wounded soldier William Barnett returns home only to find out that his family’s ranch has been seized. Though angered at this turn of events, he’s surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.
Despite these circumstances, Hannah and William form an uneasy truce… and an undeniable attraction builds between them. In a land where loyalties are divided in a country ravaged by war, is there any hope that the first blush of love can survive?
There are some authors whose books I can always enjoy. It’s reassuring to see their latest title and know you won’t be wasting your time by reading it. Tracie Peterson is one of those authors. No matter the setting, be it Alaska, Montana or Texas, Peterson gives her readers an insight into life in that place during a particular moment in history. With Chasing the Sun, we get a glimpse of life in Texas between late 1863 and early 1864. The Confederacy has lost the major battle of Gettysburg, the major Mississippi port of Vicksburg is in Union hands and the war has taken a major toll on those in the south. Meanwhile, Indian raiding parties are adding to the people’s woes.
The relationship between Hannah and William is central to the book, but other characters have their moments to shine. Little sister Marty is precocious, while eight year old Andy believes he’s just as brave and strong as any of the adult men in his life. But it is the simple faith of Juanita, the Mexican housekeeper, which charmed me the most. While others worry and panic, she turns to the Lord. She treats everyone equally with respect, be they white, Mexican, Indian, young or old, and is a great role model for both Marty and Hannah. Peterson created a beautiful character in Juanita, and the story is enhanced by her humble approach to life.
Chasing the Sun is easy to get through, even with its mix of drama and social issues. I had it finished in a day. It is the first in the Land of the Lone Star series. The next book, Touching the Sky, will be out next month.
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: March 2012
Page Count: 352
I received my free copy of Chasing the Sun from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.