A Home in Drayton Valley

Written by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Review by Rebecca Cochran

In 1880 New York City, Tarsie Raines daydreams with her sick friend, Mary Brubacher, about moving somewhere with fresh air and space. When the chance arises, they finally persuade Mary’s husband, Joss, to relocate the family to the country in Kentucky. But during the arduous journey, Mary’s health worsens and Tarsie is soon left with two young children and a grieving widower. Joss and Tarsie must work together to find that better life, no easy task when Joss’s stubborn, sinful nature continually clashes with Tarsie’s spirited faith.

Despite its heavy themes of race and religion, Sawyer has once again crafted a deeply emotional tale amidst a wonderful backdrop. The historical aspects of pioneer life are colorful, rich, and intriguing. I did, however, feel as though Joss’s conversion into a man of faith was a bit too convenient to the storyline, and also rather rapid (he wakes up one morning totally different). I would recommend this only to die-hard fans of Christian pioneer fiction who appreciate dramatic transformations and quick wrap-ups.