My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing!
In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.
Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?
Wow. This book definitely lives up to its rave reviews and exceeded my expectations! It has all the elements I love in a great historical novel- strong romance, fascinating history, suspense and anticipation throughout the book to keep the pace moving. I had not known about the lost state of Franklin and the early American politics surrounding it, and combined with the turbulent Native American dynamic, I was biting my nails! The characters are so vibrant- it was easy to envision each one. The author balanced out all the elements superbly and I didn't feel that any part of the novel was lacking. The ending was tied together beautifully and completely.
Other authors who have books in the same genre and quality that I'd recommend are Jody Hedlund and Amber Perry- all the books I've read of theirs have been 5 stars for me and definitely worth paying full price. (I noticed that the Kindle price of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is only $7.99 right now- a great deal!)
(Thank you to WaterBrook Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)