“Woman of Courage” by Wanda E. Brunstetter

 

Quaker Woman Risks All to be a Wilderness Missionary to the Nez Perce’ Indians

womanofcouragecover Books

Amanda Pearson, a Quaker woman suffering from a broken engagement, leaves her home in New York and travels West to minister to the Nez Perce Indians. Along the way, she encounters many problems, yet she never gives up. Like a true woman of courage, Amanda trusts God to see her through, even when she fights illness, abandonment, misunderstandings, and an unexpected event. Set in 1837, this historical novel has many twists and turns that will take readers from the rugged Rocky Mountains to Oregon Territory and the home of the Spalding Mission, where the Nez Perce Indians were first introduced to Christianity.

Note from the author:  It was during a time when my husband and I lived in Idaho, not far from Lapwai, that I began to research the Nez Perce Indians and how Rev. and Mrs. Spalding started the first mission there. I was interested in the fact that several years prior to the Spaldings’ arrival, a delegation of Nez Perce had gone to St. Louis, MO on a quest to find out more about the Book of Heaven (the Bible) and ask for missionaries to come to them. Although the story of Amanda Pearson, my Quaker heroine in the story, is purely fiction, the details I incorporated into the book about traveling through the mountains and the things she had to deal with are based on facts I learned while researching. 
 
 
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My Review:

With Wanda E. Brunstetter being one of my favorite Amish writers, I quickly agreed to review her book, Woman of Courage, though it was about a Quaker woman’s experience in the 1837 wilderness.  Wanda is very well known for her accurate descriptions of the scenes, people and adventures, and she didn’t disappoint in this book.

A motherless young Quaker woman is jilted by her fiancé, so she and her father start out to the Oregon Territory with a guide, over a 3,000-mile trip, so Amanda could fulfill her desire to be a missionary to the Nez Perce’ Indians with Reverend Henry and Eliza Spaldings.
Tragedy strikes and Amanda eventually finds herself in the cabin of Jim and Mary Beck, healing from her wounds and a ferocious fever.

This book is not necessarily a fast read, as it accounts for a 3,000-mile trip.  The adventures, tragedies, attacks, and romance are told over nine months of a time period.  That does not, however, make it a boring book.  It gives Wanda the time to describe each and every episode, personalities of each of the characters (and some are pretty wild), and the relational experiences in-depth.  Her main character, Amanda, thinks this will be the adventure of her life, only to find firsthand the harsh realities of traveling through rough, unsettled territory to reach her destination, the dangers of hostile Indian groups, and the loss of loved ones.  Though these characters are fictional, the story line itself is not.

The loyalty and courage of Amanda’s desire to teach the gospel to the Nez Perce’ Indians will cause you to do an introspective examination of the depths of your calling to preach the gospel to others.  Will the realities of a hard life quash God’s calling in your life?

This book was provided free from Julie Busteed of Handlebar Publishing, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged for my review, nor was I obligated to give a positive review. 

 

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