07 July 2011

Review of Springtime for Susannah by Catherine Richmond by Diana Flowers

Springtime for Susannah by Cathy Richmond


Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond
4 stars~ ****

Superb Debut Novel!

It is Michigan in the 1870s and shy, awkward 30-year-old Susannah Underhill, has lost both of her parents, and has no prospects of marriage. Feeling she is plain and skinny, Susannah lacks the self-confidence to even talk to the battle scarred soldiers coming back from the war. She agrees to her only available option, becoming a mail-order bride to her pastor's brother in the untamed territory of Dakota. Upon arriving, Susannah sees nothing but an untamed wilderness land, a sod house to live in, a couple of Norwegian neighbors who barely speak English...and Jesse!

Jesse, a funny, wonderfully kind man, who does his best to draw Susannah out of her shell, sees a smart, pretty woman, with special strengths and abilities that Susannah doesn't even know she possesses. Soon Jesse's dreams and hers become one...to make Dakota become a land for other homesteaders; a land of opportunity. When grasshoppers destroy all their hopes and dreams in one sweep, Susannah suffers a miscarriage in the brutal Dakota winter, and Jesse disappears for months, leaving Susannah to believe he is dead, she undergoes a transformation. She metamorphoses from a shy and timid woman who feels inferior, to a strong independent woman who will fight for the man and the land she has come to love.  

This was not your typical mail-order bride novel, which I normally don't care for, but an exciting, realistic look at our first pioneers, our ancestors who fought, sacrificed, and died for the freedoms we all now enjoy. The reason I did not give this novel 5 stars is that there were was some sexual innuendos, which are appropriate between married couples, but not for alot of Christian fiction readers. I feel like most of it should have been left unsaid, especially the doctor plainly discussing birth control methods in the manner in which he did. Otherwise, I am impressed with Ms. Richmond's debut novel and have a hard time believing this was her first published book! 


We've got alot to look forward to from this author!


Giveaway: Diana has a copy to give to one reader who leaves a comment on this blog by Sunday morning.  Leave your email addy so we can contact you!  Blessings!

37 comments:

  1. Welcome to Carrie's fabulous anointed blog everyone! I hope you enjoy your visit! A special thanks to Carrie for all her hard work in posting, cover image, etc. I have a like-new copy of Spring for Susannah to give away to some blessed commenter.

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  2. Diana, Thanks for the review! And thanks, Carrie, for hosting it! Yes, that doctor was crude, wasn't he? After working in hospitals all these years, I've gotten hardened to medical talk. Did you catch that his advice increased the chance of conception?

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  3. You're welcome, Cathy! Very crude and unwise doctor. No wonder they had gobs of kids back in those days with advise like that! lol

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  4. Sounds like a great, hard-to-put-it-down novel. I would LOVE to win this one!! ncmom@att.net

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  5. Thanks for the review, Carrie. This definitely sounds like a book that I want to read. Please enter me.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladio40(at)aol(dot)com

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  6. Welcome, Cathy and Jo, to Overcoming Through Time! I'm glad you enjoyed the review and you will both be entered in the giveaway. Thanks!

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful book! I'll be keeping my eye out for works by this author. Would love to win a copy.

    simmadar(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  8. Hi, Natalie, it's great to see you here! We have such a good time on Carrie's blog! Catherine is a wonderful author and I don't know what she's got coming up book-wise, but maybe she'll come on here later and fill us in. I definitely will be reading more of her books!

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  9. I've got to read this book! I grew up in Michigan and now live in South Dakota, so the settings have me intrigued.

    jandrex(at)juno(dot)com

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  10. This book should definitely be up your alley, Jan. Where are you from in Michigan? There seem to be a lot of MI writers in ACFW I have noticed. Many of us are transplants elsewhere, now.

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  11. Yes, I agree, Jan, this book should be of great interest to you. The author really paints a true picture of what South Dakota must have been really like when no inhabitants were hardly there. Glad they did settle there or you wouldn't be there!:-) One of my dear friends, Joan Wilke, is also from MI.

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  12. Diana asked me to tell you what I'm working on next. Well, I'm painting my office... Oh, what I'm writing! Relying on Sophia takes place in southern Dakota Territory in 1876. Sophia is a missionary to the Ponca tribe. She witnesses the events leading up to the trial of Standing Bear, where an Indian was declared a person. I'm very excited to share this little-known piece of history with you!

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  13. I'm am so looking forward to that, Cathy! It sounds like my kind of book, so you must quit painting your office, and quickly continue writing. No pressure, though. LOL Will be looking forward to seeing the cover when the time comes! Love the cover for Spring For Susannah, so I know the next one will be just as lovely.

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  14. Sounds like a good read.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  15. Jesse sounds like a hero I could fall for! Please include me in the drawing, thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  16. Welcome, Wendy and Merry, count yourselves officially entered.:-)

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  17. Hi Catherine, Spring for Susannah sounds like a great story and one I would love to read.
    I enjoy stories about our Great Country being settled and the struggles these settlers had to overcome. Jesse sounds like a great hero and Susannah a great heroin. It took great people like them to settle America and undertake the raw and savage West (Both North and South West).

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    I still can't post on this type comment form. Goggle/blogger is being mean to me. lol

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  18. Welcome, misskallie. I'm beginning to wonder if google will ever work in this type of format. I have to enter using Google Chrome. Thanks for coming over!

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  19. Diana, Thomas Nelson did a beautiful job on Spring for Susannah's cover. They asked me for a few ideas, then sent me photos of a model and a dress in their enormous wardrobe closet. I loved the dress so much, I wrote it into the story. Then they posed the model in front of the gorgeous backdrop to come up with this amazing cover. What an interesting process. I'll post Relying on Sophia's cover on my facebook page as soon as it comes.

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  20. This comment is for my sis-in-law who can't leave a comment.

    I would love to win this book! Please enter me!
    ~Barbara Smith

    thatoldgal@gmail.com

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  21. Cathy, I saw a video posted by the author Jamie Carrie, of the making of the cover of her next book and it was so awesome! I never knew all that was involved in doing a cover...I was fascinated. I recognized Susannah's dress in the book. I thought that was neat how you incorporated that in the storyline.

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  22. Diana once again you have piqued my interest. I'm going to be up to my ears in books! O what a shame! LOL Thanks for the great review. tsmathews61@gmail.com

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  23. Thanks, Teresa! I'm sorry about your problems with google, but thank you for your persistency! That would be an awful predicament to be up to your ears in books...I should be so lucky. haha

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. This book sounds interesting, to say the least. I appreciate your candid, honest review ~ tastefully put.

    I think I'd really like to read this author ~ thank you for the chance to win!
    Cheers~

    amanda38401 at gmail dot com
    Amanda

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  26. Would love to win this novel...by the way the review isn't there for me too see.

    joan
    goangaz@aol.com

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  27. Amanda and Joan, welcome to Overcoming Through Time and thank you for the compliment, Amanda!:) Joan, I'm sorry you can't see the review...don't know what's causing that. If you will google CBD and type in Spring for Susannah, my review is on there under dianaFlow and you can read it! You will both be entered. Thanks!

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  28. Thanks Diane, I am able to see it now.

    Joan
    goangaz@aol.com

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  29. Very informative review, Diana. Thank you for the alerts regarding the inappropriate inuendos. That is probably a good assumption of a doctor's understanding in that era. No bedside manner. In that setting of history, being realistic, I'm not sure I would be offended compared to what we see everywhere nowadays that is extremely offensive and inappropriate in our young adults and teens lives. Historical fiction is a favorite genre, so I would definitely like to read this story. It seems to be one I could really do some quick page turning with. Thanks for the giveaway, supporting a new author, and for the chance to win it. I hope I win!!

    Friend in Christ,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  30. Diana, I also had to go to Chrome to post my comment....I don't know what is going on with google, but I have trouble posting on several sites through google. I got my comment posted...that's the important thing.

    Blessings,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  31. Barbara, that problem has been going on so long with google now, it makes one wonder if it's ever going to be fixed...sigh. I'm so glad you were able to join us over her in spite of google, and thank you for your kind words! You are right about offensive and even lewd things that our kids are being exposed to, and that's why I barely watch tv anymore. And I agree this book doesn't EVEN come close to being inappropriate in that way; I just felt like some people might not like it in a Christian book, which is why the warning. It didn't bother me; that's a part of life, and this author's work is more realistic of the times than some.

    Barb, I know you will enjoy this one, and if you don't win, it's certainly one to put on your wishlist! Thank you again for your wonderful comments.

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  32. would love to win this one!

    Joan

    Goangaz@aol.com

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  33. I'm awake too, Joan. Been sleeping like a baby lately and all of a sudden no sleep last night...sigh. Anyway, in my inbox was another review of Spring for Susannah by Michelle Sutton on Healing Hearts blog. She really loved the book and likened it to one of Laura Frantz's books. Interesting...and what a compliment, Cathy Richmond!

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  34. Well, more aptly put she likened it to Laura Frantz's writing style, not her books.

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  35. Barb, Being from MI and having family there near that time, I am going to have to say that if they even had a real doctor I truly would have been amazed. And as blunt as people are there, well... Think about it - it was a bunch of loggers and farmers, many new immigrants, too.

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  36. Congrats to Wendy! Random number generator just picked you to win Spring For Susannah! I will email you for your address. Thanks to Catherine Richmond, Carrie, and all of you for your wonderful comments!

    Don't forget to come back and read Carrie's awesome interview with Christine Lindsay and my review on Wed on Christine's 5 star book, Shadowed In Silk! You can enter comment on interview and/or review for a chance to win this fabulous book; one of my favorite reads of the year so far!

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