A New Spirit Within
Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson is a wonderful Christian historical romance which I loved. It is the second book in the Heart Of The Frontier series but can be read as a stand-alone as all the back story is incorporated into the book. However I would recommend reading book one Treasured Grace first.
The novel deals with the after effects of trauma. Her “scars weren’t visible ones.” Today we would diagnose PTSD but it was unheard of in 1850. Tracie Peterson explores the difficulties of living a life of fear. “I lost more than my innocence… They took my dreams of love and a family. They took my ability to feel safe.” Home is no longer a refuge. Safety comes in withdrawing from people, hoping to feel better when… but it doesn’t happen. Fear dominates.
Anger ties in with fear. An anger at God. He watched the (real life) Whitman Mission massacre and He did nothing to stop it. Our anger and fear need to be given to God because only He can truly heal us of our pain.
Major themes are grudges and forgiveness. Some characters find it easy to forgive, knowing “holding a grudge takes a great deal of strength.” For others their pain and anger fuels them. Their physical health will suffer if they do not forgive. Forgiveness is not excusing. Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is freedom for the one doing the forgiving.
The novel explores relationship with and trust in God. “Sitting in a church doesn’t make you a Christian… it’s about believing and confessing.” Being a Christian is all about relationship with God and each other. It is not having religion which is following rules. Christianity is about grace given to all. None of us deserve it. We cannot earn it. Grace cost Jesus everything and it is His gift to us.
The novel shows the prejudice, hatred and anger towards the Native Americans. All Native Americans are charged with the actions of a few. Ignorant white people believe them to be savages and not worthy of knowing God. This also seems to be limiting God. “Is He not able to save the Indian?” Not everyone holds backward and prejudiced thinking, knowing “Not all Indians are bad and all whites good.”
The novel is about family. Family in the microcosm and the macrocosm. Family that pulls together regardless of the colour of their skin.
Beloved Hope was another wonderful offering from Tracie Peterson who writes novels that inform, entertain and are grounded in God. I am loving this series. It’s on to book three now, Cherished Mercy to find out what happens next. I cannot get enough of Tracie Peterson.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.