Through Rushing Water
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 3, 2012)
This is another wonderful historical offering from the gifted writer who debuted with Spring for Susannah. This new inspirational novel fictionalizes the true events experienced by the Indians on the Ponca Reservation of Dakota Territory when they were forced to relocate in the middle of the winter. It is true to the details of the broken promises and the horrible way the Indians were treated and brings forward one of our most embarrassing times as a nation. Greed and prejudice drove so many who had the power to make decisions that impacted a whole group of people in such horrible ways.
The central character, Sophia Makinoff, is strong, self-assured and planning to marry a US Congressman. She has just finished college and is making her plans for a life in Washington DC, when said congressman proposes to her roommate. Heartbroken and anxious to escape the talk about being jilted, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions, hoping to go to someplace like China. Instead, she is assigned to the Ponca Indian Agency in Dakota Territory.
There she meets Willoughby Dunn, a man who touches her heart and her soul and teaches her the ways of the Indians and the ways of faith.Together, they try to improve the conditions of the Indians and fight for their right to stay on the land that was given to them in the initial treaty. They also forge a bond that is so solid, it carries them through the many challenges they face.
For people not familiar with what happened to the Ponca Indians, this is a sometimes harsh introduction to what they experienced at the hands of the white man. But it also gives an insight into the pride and dignity and willingness of those Indians to try to assimilate, while still hanging on to their land and their birthright.
I am not normally a huge fan of inspirational fiction as sometimes the message is delivered with a hand that is too heavy, but Ms. Richmond has managed to give that message of faith and hope without being preachy. The key to that I think is that the faith is so much a part of the characterization that it rings true. The romance is handled with the same deft hand and has the classic feel of great romances like Gone With the Wind and Casablanca, with many layers of intimacy that do not involve sex. I am not a prude, and in some stories the bedroom scenes are necessary, but a book like this proves that it is possible to portray a deep love without putting the characters in bed together.
I thoroughly enjoyed Spring for Susannah and am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book.
I also want to mention that my humorous short story, SAHM, I Am, is free for the rest of today for Kindle readers. If you don’t have a Kindle, there are Kindle apps for many other electronic devices. Here is what one reviewer said about the story: “Light as a soufflé and goes down just as easily. Every woman who’s been told — by her loving DH, maybe? lol — how she could run her house better, faster, more efficiently, will identify. I know I did. Just kick back and enjoy”