Story Excerpts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Frontiersman's Daughter: A Book Review

If you enjoyed the "Christy" TV series, and like your novels featuring more than one romantic interest for the heroine, you're going to love The Frontiersman's Daughter.

Lael comes of age in 18th century Kentucke territory, shadowed by her father's legendary reputation as a settlement founder and former captive of the Shawnee. While her hope for love and marriage is banked on a childhood friend, she stirs up trouble when she catches the eye of a white Shawnee warrior.  And just when she thinks she knows what life she will choose, a Scottish doctor arrives, needing her knowledge of medicinal herbs. Yet something about him makes him dangerous. Even more so than the Shawnee warrior.

The Frontiersman's Daughter has a gentle, flowing pace, balanced by Frantz's trademark lyrical writing and rich historic detail. It will sweep you away to the Kentucke frontier during the American Revolution, allowing you a glimpse into the lives of the settlers who braved both harsh environment and hostile natives. I usually prefer books that bring me into the hero's POV part of the time, but since it would have ruined the mystery of who Lael ended up with, I completely understand why Frantz kept me rooted in Lael's point of view. Loved the guessing game.

Lael was a great character. Her broken relationship with her family was heartbreaking and lifelike, and it made the pain and grudges she carried so tangible.  She was a bit fickle about the three men she liked as the heroine in the classic "Tom, Dick, and Harry" movie, but it made her more real to me. Seriously, what single, lonely girl presented with the attention of three handsome men won't like all of them?

This is the third novel I've read by Laura Frantz, and I have to say, no one can tell a story quite like her.  Graceful prose, wonderful history, and a setting that becomes a character all on its own. I am anxiously awaiting the release of "Love's Reckoning" this fall, and highly recommend any of her books to fans of historical romance.

15 comments:

Loree Huebner said...

I remember reading Christy, and watching the series.

Laura can weave a story for sure. I haven't read this one, but will put it on my list. Thanks for the review, Gwen!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hey Loree! Yeah, I loved the "Christy" TV series (I read the book too :-) TFD is a very different story than "Christy", but was I thrilled to find similar elements all the same. You got a love a book with Indian and Scottish love interests. I think I was just about as undecided as Lael on who I wanted her to end up with! LOL! :-)

Michelle Griep said...

I'll have to check this one out, Gwen. Sounds great!

Carissa said...

I love all three of Laura's books but for different reasons. I can't wait for her new book. I loved TFD's because of the fact that I could see the historical aspect of the story. I loved TCL because Roxanne was such a strong heroine. I loved CML because I fell in love with all the characters. Especially Morrow and Red Shirt

Rissi said...

I have heard a lot of good things about this author/book back when it was making the blog tour rounds. Never did read any of her works though. Still... loved Christy. It was probably the only TV show my mom was cool with me watching for years.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hey Michelle, it is a great book, paced to savor instead of devour in one sitting. It's not suspense-driven, and it doesn't feature a dark, creepy villian, but Lael's predicament and the question of who she'll choose will keep you turning the pages. :-)

Michelle Griep said...

Well, you know me...I do like my action. But if the love factor is strong enough, I'm in.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Carissa, I'm with you on anticipating "Love's Reckoning"! September just can't get here fast enough. :-) Yes, TFD had some wonderful history, and I loved Morrow and Red Shirt. They were such a cute couple. And yes! Roxie blew me away with her personality. Loved her and McLinn too. :-)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Rissi, yeah, Christy was a great TV show. LOVED it. So I was pleasantly surprised by the similarities in TFD, but it's no copy-cat.

Lael's interest is in medicine instead of teaching, there's three suitors instead of two, and the Scottish doctor is the newcomer instead of Lael. Plus its set up during the American Revolution with hostile Indians. :-)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Ha ha, Michelle -- I do know what you like from reading your books! While history and romance is my first love, I dig action and suspense too, so I was very impressed with Frantz's ability to keep me interested in a more gently-paced, day-in and day-out read. She is a terrific storyteller. Love her romance scenes. :-)

Laura Frantz said...

Oh, you write such great reviews, Gwen! Love that you see the connection between Christy and TFD. Marshall's classic really had an impact on me early in my writing career and there are certainly echoes of the Scots doctor and more:) While I can never pretend to write like she does, I'm touched by your words.

You're also right about the pace of TFD. It's a coming of age novel, a true historical, not especially a romance though it has a strong romantic thread. It's very different than most CBA books and isn't for someone who likes a rapid, video-game paced read. Since I read mostly outside of the CBA and don't follow the writing rules therein, it's outside the box, so to speak. I think all of my books are though, one of the reasons I'm surprised I was ever published. I think my work may end up in the secular market at some point, Lord willing.

A million thanks for your beautiful review!! Francine Rivers is a hard act to follow so I'm thrilled you took time for Lael's story in the midst of your reading. You always bless me.

Laura Frantz said...

And many thanks to everyone here for the kind comments!! You've made my day/week/more!!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Oh, Laura, it would be FANTASTIC if you could branch out into the secular market! I'm imagining all the lives you could impact...and adding this to my prayer list. I need to start reading more secular novels to be well-rounded in my own work, but I am just at a loss of where to go for good, clean secular reads.

I love your "out-of-the-box" writing, and its one of the big reasons why I love your books. No, I totally see why God opened the doors of publication for your stories, and I'm excited for all that He has in store for you. :-)

Laura Frantz said...

Gwen, You're such a wonderful encourager:) I love you to death!! It IS hard to choose carefully outside the CBA. Here are a couple of great authors who can teach a lot about writing as well as entertain through their books - Susanna Kearsley and Charles Martin. Thanks so much for your gracious words. They are such a blessing:)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

So glad to bless you, Laura, and thanks for the reccommendations! I'll take a gander at Kearsley and Martin's books. :-)

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