Title: A home in Drayton Valley
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Narrator: Barbara McCulloh
Genre: Historical Fiction
Audio Release: Oct 1, 2012 by Recorded Books
Length: 12hrs 22min
About the Book:
A Compelling Pioneer Story From Bestselling Author Kim Vogel Sawyer
Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him?
I listened to the audiobook of this story and thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator did a good job of matching her voice to the energy to the story and altering her voice for different characters. I have to be honest that I struggled with the pitch of her voice particularly during specific accents, but I had no issues with her regular reading voice.
I can honestly say that I was shocked by the turn of events multiple times in this story. It easily held my attention and had my mind deeply thinking. I am one of those readers that tends to think deeply when it comes to putting myself in others shoes of characters. Sometimes it leads to happiness, anger, jealousy, sadness, etc–but it always challenges and grows my level of empathy. This is specifically one of those stories that I fought the empathy, while feeling convicted to change my thinking. You’ll have to read for yourself to fully understand what I mean by that.
One sign of the times that really stuck with me was a comment made about Joss having to choose which is worse–giving-in to a black man or giving-in to a woman. It’s not uncommon to hear of the racial prejudices of the time period or about the fight for women’s rights, but it was a unique perspective to read a story where the two prejudices find themselves pitted against each other. All of this was while trying to find a soft-spot for the character wrestling with the thoughts.
I always say a book that can make me feel something is worth the read, but this is a book that not only made me feel but think. I’d recommend giving it a read if you haven’t done so before and you enjoy historical fiction and historical romance.