Tuesday, June 7, 2011
GIVEAWAY/CONTEST DATES: JUNE 7th - JUNE 27th!
FACEBOOK PARTY: TUESDAY, JUNE 28th!
To celebrate her debut novel, Catherine and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away a Spring For Susannah Prize Package worth over $150!
One grand prize winner will receive:
* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen
* Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond (for KINDLE)
To enter just click one of the icons ABOVE and then tell your friends! But hurry, giveaway ends on June 27th. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th at 5 PM (6PM MST, 7PM CST, & 8PM EST) during Catherine's Spring for Susannah Book Club Party on Facebook! Catherine is rustling up some fun for the party - she'll be chatting about the story behind her novel, hosting a book club chat, testing your mail-order bride trivia skills, and giving away some GREAT prizes! Don't miss the fun and tell your friends!
MY "PERSONAL REVIEW"
“Spring for Susannah” by Catharine Richmond - A Romantic Historical Fiction Book
This book was a delightful book to read. Susannah was a ‘mail order’ bride from Detroit. After she lost both her parents, and had no family left in Detroit, she did decide to take up her Pastor's offer of marrying his brother, Jesse, who lives in the Dakota Territory. She went on her way on a train all the way to the Dakota Territory to meet her new husband, Jesse, whom she had never even met before. She was already married to him, as his brother was a minister back in Detroit, and he filled out all the paperwork that needed to be done, and she even had her marriage certificate. Jesse’s brother did this because there were no ministers out in the Dakota area for miles and miles. He had felt it would be easier this way.
When she first arrived, she was so surprised to find the city had nothing, absolutely nothing in it. Susannah was used to the tall buildings from Detroit, and here, in the Dakota Territory, there was nothing. All she saw was tall, long prairie grass. She was very uncertain at this point if she really wanted to stay or not. She was running through her mind her chances of hopping back on that train and going back home to Detroit. No one was there waiting for her. Did her new husband care that she traveled all this way? Time was ticking and she was almost ready to hop back on the train when she heard her name called. There he was. This was the man she was married to. This is Jesse. She had had no photo of him, knew barely anything about him, and did not know what to expect from him, except from what she was told about him from back home.
Susannah was a very brave woman to do this.
She hopped up into the carriage with this stranger and was off to his house, oh, her house as well. When they arrived she did not see a house. She was wondering where it was? The house turned out to be a ‘soddy’ house. (In case you don’t know what a ‘soddy’ is, it is a house built out of dirt and sod. Trees in that area were very scarce, so lumber was at a premium. Jesse used the earth to build their house instead of lumber. This was very common of the times.)
Then Susannah learned that not only was the house made of dirt and sod, but the floor was dirt as well. Hmmmm? Could she really live like this?
Jesse was already to jump into the full routine of marriage, which meant relations, too. Susannah was not. She pushed him off so many times. Over and over again until she was worried this marriage may not work. Really, though, she liked it, but would not admit it. Jesse was very patient and kind with Susannah. Jesse did make Susannah have tingly feelings she had never felt before. She did like this from him very much.
I was surprised at the amount of work there was to do back then. You were reliant on the land for everything. From your sustenance to your animal’s sustenance, you were responsible. You also had to take into consideration the long, hard, cold winters that hit that area and to be prepared with enough food to get through and longer, just in case.. You were stuck in your house for a long time, as storms came up out of nowhere. Just when you thought winter was over, another storm would come rattling through. Sometimes it felt as if winter would never end. Winter was also a great time of boredom. People were so used to working so hard through the summer that once you were inside the house for the winter it felt like forever.
Once Spring finally came, freedom came with it, too.
Susannah and Jesse had their most difficult time during the second summer they were married because of a grasshopper invasion that ruined all their crops and food they had stored. Jesse went off looking for work. Susannah stayed home, and took on a teaching job to help sustain them. Once thing they did not want to loose was their home, nor each other.
I don’t want to say anymore about the storyline, itself, but this was a very well written, well thought out book. The author has a flow to her writing which kept you wanting to read more. Personally, I learned a lot about Homesteading back then. It was work. The work was not for the weary hearted as you had to be tough to make it through. There were several times Susannah doubted herself and worried Jesse might want to send her back to Detroit. He would never have done that. He loved her so much, his love was incredible. Yet, again, life was tough. You had very few, if any neighbors at all. The neighbors you did have, you held onto for dear life helping each other through thick and thin. This life was not a sugar coated “Little House on the Prairie” let’s be happy episode. This was real life and hard living.
I will admit this is the first ‘mail-order bride’ book I have read, and it really opened my eyes to their ways of life I never would have thought twice about. This lifestyle paved the way to what and how we live now. This book does make me want to read more of these books. I really did enjoy learning so much about their every day life.
This book was so enjoyable, and one I did not want to put down. I really enjoyed the romance that Jesse and Susannah had. It was beautiful. I think you really need that kind of marriage to get through such hard living. In my opinion, if it were me living back then, I would have stuck it out for the romance alone. I would just pray to God I had found a husband who was as romantic as Jesse did turn out to be!
Anyone will enjoy this book, even a first-time mail order bride reader. As I mentioned, this book really opened my eyes up to the hard ways of life back then, yet at the same time, the beauty of what the land can give you, even if it is in the Northern Lights in the sky at night. These were some of the payoffs to this life.
I was provided this book by LitFuse Publicity group for FREE and I also just was reminded I received this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley as well, in exchange for a written review of my opinion of the book. NO MONIES WERE EXCHANGED WHATSOEVER.
Publisher's Review: CAUTION!! HAS SOME SPOILERS IN IT!!!
About the book:
Booklist says, "Inspired by [folk] lyrics, Richmond arrives on the inspirational fiction scene with a moving debut novel. Readers will be filled with hope that Susannah will learn the true meaning of love. Highly recommended where inspiring, romantic historical fiction is in demand."
Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.
When her parents die suddenly, and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota Territory.
Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her-and his faith in God's perfect plan-slowly begin to chip away at the wall she hides behind.
When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.
She looks to the future with a renewed heart. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits her.
About Catherine: Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist till a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelist critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.
For more about Catherine, please visit: http://www.catherinerichmond.com
Well, go on over to my tab of GIVEAWAYS, and you get your chance to WIN THIS BOOK! Good luck and enjoy it!
Posted by Laurie Carlson at 9:57 AM