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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Review: Prairie Storm (Book Three in "A Town Called Hope" series

By guest reviewer Lianne Lopes

Prairie Storm
by Catherine Palmer

Evangelist Elijah Book is a fearless warrior for God--or so he believes...

When a helpless infant is entrusted to his care, his zeal becomes sidetracked as the fate of an innocent child rests with a woman Eli must trust in spite of himself.

Storms of hurt and bitterness threaten to overwhelm Lily Nolan after the death of her husband and child. If there is a God, how could he abandon her so completely? Can she risk opening her heart to the orphaned Samuel?

United in their concern for the baby, Eli and Lily are forced to set aside their differences--but only for Samuel’s sake. Neither will admit their growing attraction. When a life-changing decision threatens Eli’s rock-solid faith, they both struggle to trust God’s plan to see them through the storms of life.

When Lily Nolan and her traveling show arrive in the little town of Hope, Kansas, she discovers a half-starved baby in, of all places, the saddle bag of the traveling preacher. Reverend Elijah Book discovered the baby in the wagon of a dying pioneer family who had been attacked by renegade Indians. Though he doesn’t know the first thing about babies, he took it upon himself to care for the child. Lily’s loss of husband and newborn daughter to sickness is painfully recent, but she finds a measure of comfort in serving as wet nurse for the preacher’s orphaned child. The circumstances draw these two lonely adults together though they fight their attraction to each other tooth and nail. But will Lily’s past and her bitter unbelief in Elijah’s God keep them apart?

Prairie Storm, Catherine Palmer’s final book in the Town Called Hope series, ties up some loose ends from the previous two, while introducing a few more characters. There is the usual mix of humor and drama that make Palmer’s books so delightful, but this one had a slightly different tone. Maybe a touch more seriousness. At times I grew tired of Lily’s cynicism, but then, I did not live the life of hardships she did. The spiritual message, however, is clear. God can bring good out of any situation, no matter how horrible or painful. All in all, an enjoyable read and suited for women of all ages.