Set in 1847, Tracie Peterson has incorporated the Whitman Mission massacre into her work of fiction. This does not make for easy reading but history is not always kind. We need to learn from history in the hope of not repeating it.
The novel highlights the tensions between the Native Americans and the white settlers. Fear brings hostility. Some on both sides are unable to see past the colour of a person’s skin. Others realise a man’s worth is in their character. “He was… a good hearted man who cared about people no matter their colour.”
There were many with pioneering spirits who pushed into the wilderness in the hope of a new life. “We did not come to this place because it was safe, we came to serve.” People bandied together forming friendship bonds.
Close knit communities meant sickness was rife in all settlements. Traditional medicine clashed with natural healing methods and ancient Native American beliefs. Deaths aroused suspicion which fuelled violence due to fear. Despicable acts of violence and rape were inflicted, producing an atmosphere of hate and fear. Women and children were traumatised and the effects were long lasting.
The novel explores the varying attitudes to God produced by life. “You ain’t gonna have any peace at all until you yield yourself to God.” God gives a peace that passes understanding at the hardest of times. For some “Prayer is essential.” For others they were “questioning where God was in all this.” Life may turn people from God. In the suffering and the pain we may question God’s goodness and if He cares at all. Or is He an impotent God? God understands our anger and our pain. He longs for us to give it to Him and to help us heal.
All life is sacred. It is a gift from God no matter what the circumstances of conception. A child does not ask to be born. A child is not a monster. A child is to be loved, cared for and nurtured.
Life is sacred. There is the difficult subject of contemplated suicide. Tracie Peterson is sensitive in her portrayal.
There are the themes of guilt and forgiveness. Our past actions may leave us feeling guilty. We need to surrender our guilt to God, receive His forgiveness and then forgive ourselves.
Tracie Peterson has written an epic tale, identifying the pioneering spirits going forth and overcoming. Her characters endear themselves to the reader. We ‘feel’ their pain and helplessness whilst applauding their ability to keep going, pressing on into a new life in uncharted territory.
Treasured Grace is a wonderful start to a new series. I am on to book two, Beloved Hope now as I cannot wait to see what happens next.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.