Sophia has her life all planned out - but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory. Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.
With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known - and never expected - and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.
It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When US policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.
Unfortunately the narration was poor to middling which impacted my enjoyment of this book. The intonation, etc., of the narrator made the heroine come off as totally unsympathetic in the beginning of the book. Only as the story moved on was I able to get past the problem with my listen--the narrator mispronouncing French words that were spoken by the heroine, a French teacher and fluent in French, for one and this downbeat tone of depression for the heroine's voice that seems due to the narrator rather than as written. A shame because the overall story is unique, has a hopeful message, and is a memorable one. Catherine Richmond has no control over the narrator and had I read the book I'd likely have given it a 5 Star rating. Characterization was refreshing. I'd recommend the book but I'd avoid this audible version unless, like me, you really need to hear it instead. I will be reading future Richmond books but hope to avoid this narrator.
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