Nope...it's just me happy dancing again. I couldn't wait until the original was posted at Kwips and Krits, so I'm sharing it now.
Historical Women’s Fiction
Rating: * * * * ½
Sarah Collins has decided to leave her old life behind and joins a wagon train heading for California in the hopes of making a fresh start. When her train is attacked by an Indian war party, Sarah is the only survivor. Now she’s on a journey back to Independence in the hopes of finding another chance. When she is bit by a rattlesnake and figures her journey is over before it began, a very unlikely rescuer happens along.
Half-breed Grey Wolf was on his way to meet the wagon train and act as their scout when he finds the remains of the wagons and no survivors. Desperate to raise the money he needs to make his dream of owning his own land come true he had thought this was his chance. Now what is he to do when he is scorned by the white folk for his heritage and rejected by the Indians for the same reason? Wolf doesn’t fit anywhere, until he happens upon a lovely young woman dying of a snake bite.
Sarah and Wolf decide to travel together, with the same destination in mind of the city of Independence and along the way their camaraderie turns into something far more. Can they ever find happiness in a world that hates people like Wolf and those who love them?
Sarah’s Journey is a story about overcoming all the odds and finding your true purpose in life. Sarah had no hope if she’d stayed in town but rather than accept defeat, she defies all expectations and sets out on a new path that most women would be frowned upon for during this time period. Even when failure seems like the only answer, Sarah adapts and changes, showing a determination and a strength most people never get to discover in themselves. Sarah truly does overcome some very tough odds to find the happiness so long eluding her. Sarah’s Journey, while of the traditional sense, traveling from one place to another, is more about the journey through her own heart and soul. She could have given up, most people would, after experiencing what she did, but rather than let it hold her back, Sarah just trudges on through, keeping her faith God will see her through and help her make her own road. I loved her for that very reason. She makes me wonder if facing the same circumstances, could I overcome the difficulties like she did?
The love story between Sarah and Grey Wolf progresses slowly and sweetly. They go from reluctant travel mates to respect and friendship, and later on into life-changing love. Wolf and Sarah help other to see past the prejudices of the day to look deep inside people for their true value and to try and make others do the same. It’s an uphill struggle but that doesn’t stop them from trying!
Sarah’s Journey is most definitely not your typical romance. In fact, while the romance is obviously there, I’d classify this more as historical fiction. So the ending of the story is completely unlike anything you may imagine. When I finished the book, my first thought was “What?” Then after reading the epilogue and taking some time to reflect on the story that “What?” became a “Wow!” Any other conclusion would not have suited our friends Sarah and Wolf. So if you ask me, Sarah’s Journey couldn’t have ended any other way. Kudos to Ginger Simpson for writing such a moving and beautifully told story that challenges all expectations!
© Kelley A. Hartsell, June 2008. All rights reserved.