A New Joy by Susan Page Davis
Book #2 in the White Mountain Brides Collection
Jane’s life has been one of trial. Orphaned at a young age, Jane was indentured as a housemaid. During an Indian raid, she was captured, carried off to Canada, and sold. Then her arranged, loveless marriage ended with the death of her abusive husband. So, when Captain Baldwin and Charles Gardner arrive and purchase her ransom, she returns to the village of Cochecho with very little hope left. Charles has no intention of finding a wife-he, too, has endured Indian captivity and is only just beginning to rebuild his life. But he cannot keep himself from thinking of Miss Jane Miller. A stilted courtship, a distant marriage, hostile Indians. Will life repeat itself for Jane, or does God have joy in store for those who remain faithful to Him?
Jane’s life has been rough and now she’s living with a pastor and his family in the village of Cochecho. When Charles begins courting Jane, she wonders about his intentions. Can she learn to love him? Charles is smitten with Jane and when her master returns, wanting her to fulfill her one more year of indentured service, Charles purchases Jane’s indenture, freeing her. She marries Charles, but is unsure about their relationship. Can they love one another amidst Indian raids and a small pox epidemic?
Life in Chochecho is hard and Jane, as well as the rest of the inhabitants, must rely on their faith to get them through the rough winter.
Can you imagine living life in the middle of the wild, in the midst of people dying from an epidemic and surrounded by Indian tribes? Doesn’t that sound frightening?
This book was an enjoyable and interesting read. I learned a lot about the way life was lived back then, being isolated around the Indian tribes, and about being an indentured servant.
Laken Kroft left home eight years ago and never looked back. Who knew when she applied for the promotion to postmaster that she’d end up in Romance, Arkansas, and much too close to her parents, the town drunk and the local gossip maven? Hayden Winters has his hands full raising his paraplegic nephew, Brady, and wrestling his guilt over having caused the child’s injury. When the boy’s father, Laken’s brother, turns up and starts talking custody, Laken’s influence is Hayden’s only hope. But whose side is she really on?
Laken and Hayden work together in the small post office in Romance, Arkansas. They’re attracted to one another, but Hayden harbors lots of guilt – his nephew is a paraplegic and it’s all his fault. Meanwhile, his feelings for Laken continue to grow, but, there’s a problem – Laken is not a Christian and she’s still bitter towards her estranged family. Her father’s an alcoholic and her mother is a huge gossip, wanting to stir up trouble. Can Laken learn to lean on God, hoping He’ll give her the strength she needs to deal with her problems?
This book was a charming, enjoyable read. I understand that there were two other books in this series and I’m assuming it’ll be re-released as part of Barbour’s 3-in-1 collections.