|Waiting for Morning|
Thomas Nelson, 2013
Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
Set in 1896, in the Arizona desert, a land of contrasts and beauty, sits a large red-roofed two-story adobe ranch house with a wrap-around verandah, outbuildings, barn, corral, and towering windmills. This is the focal setting for ‘Waiting for Morning’, a beautifully captivating story about Molly Hatfield… an unlikely candidate trying out for the heiress position of the eccentric Eleanor Walker and her vast cattle ranch in Cactus Patch.
Pretty 21 year old Molly and her wheel-chair bound brother Donny are on their way there after losing everything including Molly’s job in the Dobson Creek, Colorado fire. Molly is answering an ad by Eleanor, who desires an heir for her ranch and gives young women a trial period of 4 months to prove they’re worthy. But there is also the clause that won’t allow the successful recipient to ever marry… and they will have to sign a binding contract to that end, should they prevail. In Molly’s case, she realizes it is of little consequence as she perceives no chance of landing a husband after 22 proposal’s already… with all men disappearing when learning about Donny’s condition.
And now Molly sees this new opportunity as being one that can secure hers and Donny’s future and is determined to succeed.
Eleanor Walker has no idea that Molly is an ex-saloon girl or bringing along her 14 year old crippled brother, for either is likely to fare well for Molly with the strict ranch owner. Molly will be desperate that Miss Walker believes that not only doesn’t Donny need much care even, though he is completely reliant on her, but that she can also learn and work the ranch successfully.
Molly carries an enormous burden of guilt for her brother and his condition, and has made herself his protector and caretaker and consistently puts him above her own needs. Something will no doubt suffer with Molly trying to look after her brother and the exhausting and grueling work at the ranch. So can she learn to put God first and to put her trust in Him before it is too late?
The new young doctor of Cactus Patch, Caleb Fairbanks, and his dog Magic first meet Miss Hatfield on the road to Eleanor’s ranch, when Molly mistook the backfiring of his horseless carriage as gunshots and proceeded to shoot in his direction with her double barrel shotgun. Many of his other encounters with Molly were no less fiery and before long he finds himself smitten with her. Caleb sees past Donny’s wheelchair, earnestly desiring to help Molly’s melancholy brother who has given up all hope of being anything but helpless for the rest of his life. But how will Caleb ever get through to Donny and his extremely overprotective sister?
We meet again in this story, the riotous and classic sister duo of Bessie and Lulu-Belle. And this time they’re taking on the saloons, feeling fed-up with the men of the town getting drunk so often. As well as the many entertaining light-hearted moments, there are valuable lessons to be gained in this charming story including the disproportionate dependence you can have with people and things. However the main message I believe that comes across is learning how to let go of our fears, doubts, and burdens and to trust God to help work all things together for good.
This is the second book in The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series with the third coming out later this year, but they can all be read alone. And while I’m waiting for the next to be released, in the meantime I’ll be devouring all of Margaret’s other books I haven’t read yet!
GIVEAWAYS: Margaret is generously giving away a copy of “Grieving God’s Way.” She is also giving away a copy of “Waiting for Morning.”
We are also giving away the choice of any of Margaret’s books this week, choice of format, to one of our commenters.
QUESTION: The first cars were often called ‘horseless carriages’ and were an example of changes that took place in the late 1800’s. What’s one thing you would change or improve in this world if you could?