The Ways of Heaven

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - CAMILLE-YVETTE WELSCH

Lind­sey Barlow Light Mes­sages (APRIL) Soft­cover $14.99 (302pp) 978-1-61153-221-0

Loaded with ac­tion and in­trigue, The Ways of Heaven fields mul­ti­ple sto­ries at once—an en­gag­ing se­condary love story, a mur­der case, a love tri­an­gle, and the racism of the West in the late 1800s.

Rose Walker de­fies con­ven­tion when she leaves her gam­bling hus­band and adopts her de­ceased cousin’s bira­cial baby. The racism and sex­ism of her con­tem­po­raries be­come driv­ing forces in the events of the book.

Rose re­turns to her home­town of Tall Pine, Colorado, and to her par­ents’ dairy. En route, she meets Meg, a bat­tered cook who is ea­ger to es­cape her abu­sive and las­civ­i­ous step­fa­ther. Rose’s par­ents im­me­di­ately hire Meg; Rose set­tles into life with a new baby—un­til her aban­doned hus­band, Cade, ar­rives in town un­ex­pect­edly af­ter a pair of mys­te­ri­ous mur­ders.

Cade is a deeply flawed but en­gag­ing se­condary lead, able to learn and re­cover from his er­rors. Rose’s deep faith gives her the con­fi­dence to assert her­self as a woman of pur­pose, fore­shad­ow­ing the state’s women’s rights move­ment. Other char­ac­ters have in­ter­est­ing back­sto­ries and a lot of agency in their own plots. The vil­lain, though, is a fairly clas­sic devil. His crimes re­solve a bit too eas­ily.

Barlow sets a gal­lop­ing pace. Her char­ac­ters are de­vel­oped with a mod­ern touch that makes them more ac­ces­si­ble to con­tem­po­rary read­ers. Re­ac­tions to Rose’s bira­cial child be­come a lens to ex­am­ine post-civil War bit­ter­ness, as well as the role of women and so­ci­ety in the moun­tain states.

With its dense plot and mul­ti­ple en­gag­ing story lines, this Chris­tian his­tor­i­cal romance of­fers not only a com­pelling re­union be­tween lovers but also a glimpse into the so­cial is­sues swirling in the newly de­vel­oped state of Colorado.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.