Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Mary Connealy's Wildflower Bride ~ Reviewed
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (May 1, 2010)
Welcome to the wilds of Montana, where humor, romance, and suspense ride the range. Glowing Sun, a white woman raised by the Flathead tribe, has vague memories of her former life, including a name—Abby Lind. When she’s forced to sever all links with her adopted family, Abby wonders if she’ll ever find a home again. Tenderhearted Wade Sawyer, responsible for Abby’s survival during the village massacre, convinces the knife-wielding woman to return with him to the Sawyer Ranch, never realizing danger lurks behind every corner. Can they survive long enough to fall in love?
“What kind of Christian would I be if I was forgiven so much and then I wouldn’t forgive you?” (p. 314)
Wildflower Bride is a book filled with cantankerous characters and dangerous situations, yet Mary Connealy is able to lasso these wild situations with God’s mercy and grace, and the outcome is truly entertaining! Wade Sawyer and Glowing Sun (aka Abby) knew each other in a previous story, and now it is time for them to take center stage in Connealy’s Montana Marriages series. The story begins in a very difficult and dangerous situation for both the main characters, and it isn’t long before they enter into even more uncertain circumstances. The road that Wade and Abby must travel – the direction God has indeed ordained for them alone – is not an easy one. Wade must go back to a father who has hated and abused him, and he takes Abby, already wounded and broken, into this very dysfunctional household. Once there, they begin to discover that a greater evil is at work around them, and they must truly fight to survive.
I’ve read several of Mary’s stories at this point, and Wildflower Bride brings out what I love most in her writing. Wade and Abby - especially Abby – are just hurting, stubborn, newly born Christians who are trying to cling to God with a fragile faith that is full of questions. Wade’s dad is just plain mean, but he too has been broken and tried, and Wade must choose whether or not he will be faithful to be salt and light to his father or whether or not he will leave as he’s done in the past. Wade is also drawn to Abby, but she is as likely to pull a knife on him as speak to him, so he is never certain where he stands with her. Add to this the humorous, cantankerous relationship between Red and Cassie, the rebellious but loving Belle and Silas Harden, and a mean group of rustlers and this book takes you on a wild bronco ride straight to the heart of grace!
Mary doesn’t hold back when she has her characters discuss and explore their faith. She is generous with her humor, and I just about rolled reading about Cassie and her knife throwing lessons! Belle is still as ornery as ever, and is doing a great job teaching all the women in her life to be independent even though her own heart has been lassoed and hog-tied by her latest husband! To be honest, there is a lot of human nature that everyone will recognize and identify within the story. The broken relationship between Wade and his dad is eerily similar to the relationship I have observed between two men in my own life, and is very realistic. More than anything, what rings true is the fact that God loves us, even in our brokenness, and is faithful to bring us through trials and straight into His loving arms.
Wildflower Bride is a jewel in Mary Connealy’s writing crown, and I highly recommend it to you! Jump in and hang on! It’s a wild ride!
Reviewed by: Kim Ford
As the third book in the Montana Marriages series, "Wildflower Bride" brings another comedic romance off the pages an into the imagination of readers. Although starting the novel knowing that this was a story of a character that I despised in the beginning of the series it was amazing how author Mary Connealy was able to bring a character's personality into favor for me. The first two books in this series are my favorite from Mary so far. I cannot wait for future stories!
Wade Sawyer, a man changed finds himself in love with Abby Linscott also known as Glowing Sun. Observing the changes in Wade's behavior and soul makes a painful yet hopeful example that anyone can change. Abby born to a white family yet raised by a Flathead Indian tribe after the early death of her birth family then finds herself alone again after the massacre of her tribe. Through the strength of God, Wade is able to return home to face his abusive father and Abby is given the opportunity to open her heart and trust that she will not be alone again. These pages provide a hopeful story of love that will entertain.
Reviewed by: Margaret Chind