Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: Through Rushing Water by Catherine Richmond

Title: Through Rushing Water
Author: Catherine Richmond
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publish Date: July 3, 2012 (Today!)
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan
  • You're a Christian fiction fan.
  • You like books that make you ponder.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Sophia Makinoff is sure that 1876 is the year she's going to become the wife of an up-and-coming congressman. But when the congressman humiliates her by proposing to her mousy roommate,
Sophia wants nothing more than to disappear and avoid the wedding plans. She grasps at her first opportunity for escape and signs up for the Board of Foreign Missions.

She thinks she'll be going to China . . . but even running away doesn't go as planned when she's instead sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the Dakota Territory. It's an abysmal, primitive place for a lady of society, but as she gets to know the people, she discovers she can't abandon them. The motives that led her there were anything but pure, but she finds a new purpose in trying to protect "the least of these."

The water rushes around her—literally and figuratively—as Sophia learns that the only way to fulfill her purpose is to ignore the distractions and focus on God's leading."

My Two Cents:

Sophia Mackinoff wanted to see the world and I feel her on that (there are very few places where I would not travel if I were given the opportunity). Sophia is definitely a lady after my own heart. She thought she'd be a congressman's wife, hosting parties and rubbing elbows with new and exciting people. That life was not to be, which, of course, would be devastatingly disappointing. So she joins up with the Board of Foreign Missions, expecting that she'd be posted in some far off country only to be plonked down in Ponca country in the Dakota Territory. It's not the glam, foreign destination that she wants.

This book does verge a little bit on the Christian fiction realm, which is not really my preference. It was interesting to see the interplay between the white people and the Native Americans on this matter though. And it does capture what the Board of Foreign missions was doing at the time so it definitely does not take away from the historical qualities of the book. It's really hard to make sense of this period in time in our history. The people at the the time thought they were doing good but were they really?

I loved reading about this time period. The 1870s were an incredibly interesting time to be in the territories. On one hand, you have the Board of Foreign Missions trying to help people like the Poncas while the government was trying to figure out ways to move the Native Americans further west. To me, that wasdefinitely a sad time in our country's history. I liked how Richmond was able to capture the idea that the people working for the Board of Foreign Missions really thought that they were helping. Especially in Sophia, you see a person who is eager to make life better, even though what she considers 'better' may have a different definition than what the Ponca consider 'better.' I love books that make me think a little bit and this one definitely did.

Bottom line: This is a good book that captures the feelings of the time perfectly!



  1. Missionaries are very controversial in my mind, doing good but also doing harm to native cultures. What happened to Native Americans in history is very sad, I agree.


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