The Hope Within
Dianne and Cole Selby moved to Virginia City, Montana, after their ranch house was destroyed by fire in 1886. The move was very unsettling to Dianne; she longed to go back to her ranch where she found the beauty of nature and the solace that comes with living in the country. Cole, however, does not share Dianne’s need to go home; he delays their return with one excuse after another. Dianne’s dream is further prolonged when Cole’s father takes ill and Cole insists that they go to Kansas to care for his father. Cole’s father dies, leaving Cole the family farm; Cole’s mother insists that Cole and Dianne stay in Kansas to run the farm. Dianne believes that she will never return to her ranch in Montana; her situation made worst by the ill treatment of Cole’s mother toward Dianne and her children. Dianne finally decides to take the children by train back to Montana, even if it means the end of her marriage. In the end, it is faith in God that brings Dianne through many difficult decisions in her life.
The Hope Within is the fourth in Tracie Peterson’s Heirs of Montana series. It is Christian fiction and should be of interest to readers who find spiritual uplift in stories from the heart. But The Hope Within falls short of being historical fiction. It is not enough to place a story in the 19th century and drop the names of real towns and real people on the reader. There is little sense of what it was like to live in Montana in 1886, especially in the mining camp and once capital city, Virginia City.