Book Review – Spring For Susannah by Catherine Richmond

This is a book I read and reviewed some time ago, but it was such a good read, I thought I would share the review again. The book is available in paperback and as an e-book.

Spring For Susannah
Catherine Richmond
 Paperback: 356 pages
 Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 14, 2011)
 Language: English
 ISBN-10: 1595549242
 ISBN-13: 978-1595549242

Following the death of her father in Michigan, Susannah Underhill is left rootless, and she agrees to go west to the Dakota Territory to marry Jesse Mason, brother of Susannah’s minister. At the urging of the minister’s wife, Susannah has corresponded with Jesse for several months, but meeting in letters is nothing like meeting in person.

Susannah is quiet and shy, a stark contrast to Jesse’s outgoing personality. She doesn’t know what to talk to him about or how, and is often more comfortable talking to the dog. He is less threatening than this man who seems to overpower her sometimes just by his mere presence. And he is so confident about God and God’s love. How can anyone be that confident?

Before her father died, Susannah helped him in his veterinary practice in Detroit, and that experience helps save Jesse’s ox and twin calves. She also helps neighboring farmers with their animals, and Jesse realizes that she is an asset and a blessing in this land that challenges the strongest of men and women. For her part, Susannah starts to feel a part of this desolate land and begins to appreciate what made Jesse come out here to homestead. While it is harsh and stark with many challenges, the Dakota prairie is beautiful in spring.

As Susannah works through her awkwardness and feelings of unworthiness the bond that unites these two people grows stronger. This is a beautifully written story with language and descriptions that bring the prairie to life like the sun brings new growth in the spring. The characters are true and believable, and the testimony to faith is woven seamlessly throughout the story with a deft hand. As Susannah learns to trust the love of Jesse, she learns to trust in the love of God.

This is a book that will appeal to fans of inspirational fiction, but it also has a wider appeal because of the strength of the love story.
In the words of the author, “I was busy raising a family, working as an occupational therapist, and trying to remember where I hid the chocolate, when a song sparked a story within me. The journey to publication has been long, but full of blessings. I couldn’t have done it without ACFW, RWA, and FHL, the inspirational chapter of RWA – and lots of chocolate!” Catherine’s Web site 

FTC Disclaimer: The author sent me an advance review copy of the book, hoping that I would write a review. But she did say if I didn’t like the book, I didn’t have to write one. In keeping with full disclosure, I will also admit that I know the author, and I had the pleasure of reading this book in its infancy. For her sake and mine, I won’t say how long ago that was. What I will say is that I was impressed with the writing then and am even more impressed now. I am not a fan of inspirational fiction. It is often too preachy for my tastes, but this one doesn’t pound the pulpit.

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