14 June 2011

Spring For Suzannah, Book Review and Giveaway

 Publisher's Review:

Booklist says, "Inspired by [folk] lyrics, Richmond arrives on the inspirational fiction scene with a moving debut novel. Readers will be filled with hope that Susannah will learn the true meaning of love. Highly recommended where inspiring, romantic historical fiction is in demand."

Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.
When her parents die suddenly, and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota Territory .
Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her-and his faith in God's perfect plan-slowly begin to chip away at the wall she hides behind.
When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.
She looks to the future with a renewed heart. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits her.

My Review:

Since this weekend was quiet enough to let  me relax (after a week of feeling  somewhat frazzled) I picked up "Spring for Suzannah" to enjoy along with a nice cuppa! 
I was looking for something light to read but with a good solid plot, the kind of novel you immerse  yourself into.

This is a debut for Catherine Richmond but a few pages in the book I knew "Spring for Suzannah" would be a throughfully enjoyable read and I was not disappointed.
I think we all agree we like to read about these incredible frontier women who braved the wilderness, tamed the Wild West,  raised families, often burying some of their loved ones, faced starvation, wildlife threats, and built a life for themselves along their mates. 
Let's  not forget their contributions in building schools, churches and developing entire towns whilst uphelding God's word!

The setting for Catherine Richmond novel (written with the help of a few chocolates along the way - my kind of gal!) is the Dakota Territory, a few years after the end of the Civil War. 
Suzannah travels outwest to meet her new husband, Jesse. Theirs is a marriage by proxy, not unusual at that time. What is unusual is that she brings uncommon skills to her new way of life.
Her new home is a soddy, barely large enough to contain her husband and herself. Her companion is a dog, her only friend is Martha, a Norvegian just learning the English language and she lives miles away.  The prairie is everywhere, there are many dangers such as wildland fires and the often weather changes!  To survive is a daily challenge, being caught unprepared could mean death.  There are no church, no school, no doctor and loneliness has a way to pervade everything!

Jesse is a hard worker farmer but also a loving husband who has seen much horror during the War yet believes in God implicitly. His comfortable relationship with the Lord at times is even funny! 
Shy Suzannah is insecure and lives in fear her new husband will send her back East but with patience Jesse reaches her heart and they soon see their union blessed. 
When tragedy happens however, Suzannah must deal with the pain and here as always we are reminded God is always by our side. Suzannah matures in a real pioneer woman when she realizes God has a plan for her after all!

Catherine Richmond describes her characters as living a full life, theirs is a romance that blooms in a lonely often harsh world. She does not shy from describing their intimacy, reminding us God made all things beautiful and His love is constant.
I cannot say honestly I would recommend this as a read for young girls but again, this Christian novel was written with much care and faith and a more mature audience will truly enjoy following Jesse and Suzannah's story. 
The author's careful details gives us yet again, a little window on these pioneers women who made a New World thus providing us with a bit of history, along with an afternoon of true relaxation. 
Just what I was looking for!
Many thanks Catherine Richmond and I hope you will soon pen another story for us.

I give this book 4 stars!

I received this book free from Litfuse as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Meet Catherine Richmond:

Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist till a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelist critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.

For more about Catherine, please visit www.catherinerichmond.com.

You might like to check other reviews here:

And now for the Giveaway!

To celebrate her debut novel, Catherine and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away a Spring For Susannah Prize Package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond (for KINDLE)

To enter just click one of the icons below and then tell your friends! But hurry, giveaway ends on June 27th. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th at 5 PM (6PM MST, 7PM CST, & 8PM EST) during Catherine's Spring for Susannah Book Club Party on Facebook! Catherine is rustling up some fun for the party - she'll be chatting about the story behind her novel, hosting a book club chat, testing your mail-order bride trivia skills, and giving away some GREAT prizes! Don't miss the fun and tell your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter


  1. Thank you for the review! I just entered the giveaway!

  2. Noelle, Thank you for your wonderful review of Spring For Susannah! I'm so glad you had time to relax with a book and chose mine! Yes, I do have another story under way - Relying on Sophia will be out next summer. It's about missionaries...
    I'm married to a pilot, too, and my daughter lived in Ecuador for a year. The story of the Saint family is so amazing. I had this idealized view of primitive tribes, living peacefully - oh, how wrong! They so need Jesus to show them how to love and forgive - as do we all! What an honor for Spring for Susannah to share a blog with the story of these missionaries!


I love to share dreams and always enjoy meeting kindred spirits!
Thank you for stopping by!