The Heart of Thornton Creek

Written by Bonnie Leon
Review by B. J. Sedlock

Suddenly orphaned and destitute young women have few options in 1871 Boston. Rebecca Williams decides her best choice is to accept a marriage of convenience with Daniel Thornton, an Australian client of her father’s law firm. But once she arrives at the Thorntons’ isolated cattle station, the culture shock is severe. Her father-in-law Bertram rules the town with an autocratic hand and disapproves of their impulsive marriage. Daniel has never been able to defy his father and won’t take Rebecca’s side against him during disagreements. Yet their neighbors all praise Bertram as a fine man, so how can he be all bad? Rebecca must draw heavily on her Christian faith to try to adjust from being a pampered, city-bred American to a bush-dwelling Australian.

This volume one of the Queensland Chronicles is a cut above most genre novels in character development. No less than three of the major characters change and grow by the end of the book. Non-Christian readers should be advised of the heavier-than-usual but well-handled religious content. An historical error: characters listen to the “1812 Overture” at a Boston concert nine years before it was written. Otherwise, a well-done character study from the inspirational genre.