A Promise for Spring

Written by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Review by Nan Curnutt

In 1874 a tearful Emmaline Bradford traveled from her home in England to the plains of Kansas to meet her intended husband, Geoffrey Garrett. To her, the plains are a barren, unforgiving wasteland, and the man she used to love is a cold, harsh stranger.

Emmaline refuses to marry Geoffrey and begs to return to England, but he proposes a compromise. If she will stay until spring, he will let her choose to marry him or return to England. Emmaline, having no other choice, agrees. Emmaline struggles against each new situation in her life until she meets Tildy, a former slave, who wisely teaches her acceptance and humility and dependence on God.

This novel presents two pictures of the plains of Kansas: one of barrenness and harsh realities and another of beauty and fruitfulness. These diverse images are representative of the hearts of the main characters as they struggle to make a life in this new land. Ms. Sawyer’s story shows how the seeds of humility and self-sacrifice in a barren place will bear fruit in due season.