Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Rocky Mountain Oasis by Lynnette Bonner is one of those books I liked but didn't love -- and I wanted to love it. It has a great set-up: a mail-order bride with a past she'd like to forget is saved from marrying a somewhat unstable drunk miner by his more upstanding and gentlemanly cousin. Because he's moral and upstanding and this is the Wild West, Sky has little choice but to marry Brooke himself. Sky soon realizes that this deeply wounded woman needs patience and care, and desperately needs someone in her life whom she can trust. In the meantime, there's opium and murder and a lynch mob; and Sky the farmer gets involved since he's also a former lawman. There's also redemption and healing and love.
So, I liked a lot of things about it; the murder and trial aspect of the story were especially interesting, especially since it dealt with the role of and treatment of Asians in the American West during the mid-19th century. And it was based on a true story, which lent an air of realism. I liked little things, like how Sky taught Brooke to shoot a gun and made her carry one all the time to protect herself.
But despite all my likes, the book didn't grab me; it was easy to put down when i got interrupted reading. And, while I really like a book told from a Christian worldview, I prefer a book that takes the "I want to tell a story and it happens to be about people who are Christians/spiritual/deal with spiritual things/etc." rather than "I want to send a Christian message and I'll wrap it in a story to do so." To me, the latter type of story-telling feels less organic. I'd read this author again, but I'd have to be in the mood.
Bottome line: a sweet, heartwarming, western-themed, Christian romance.