Footprints on the Horizon
Footprints on the Horizon is the third in Whitson’s Pine Ridge Portraits series of novels about women on the Nebraska frontier. Footprints follows CJ Jackson, a young girl in the previous story, into her cantankerous middle age at the end of WWII, when she decides to use German prisoner labor from nearby Fort Robinson to bring in her harvest. This decision has repercussions throughout small-town Crawford. The stories of CJ’s teenaged niece, Jo, trying to find her passion during wartime and particularly the gut-wrenching story of Hank Frey trying to rebuild his life after being disfigured in an Army plane crash are elegantly told. The climactic scene between Hank and his wife Helen had tears streaming down my cheeks.
Unfortunately, CJ’s was the one voice in this book I really couldn’t relate to. Though she claims to be “plain spoken,” CJ gives us endless detail about balled fists and ducked heads instead of simply saying, “She looked embarrassed.” Her habit of referring to other characters by their full names feels stilted, but that is a tiny quibble in an otherwise strong book. Footprints on the Horizon is an engaging read that will appeal to Christian and non-Christian readers alike.