Historical fiction is my favorite Christian fiction genre I believe. It is how I got started reading Christian fiction, one problem with it, is that some how I seem to have started with the best and often have a hard time finding anything that really meets the par. Things are great and enjoyable, but not quite as exciting as those first Liz Curtis Higgs or Tracie Peterson and even Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love. Well, boy is that not the case with Mary Connealy! Welcome to my favorites' shelf! (Literally I do have a favorites' shelf, if my mom didn't have half my books from it, I'd post a picture).
Petticoat Ranch is everything that a good historical fiction should be, and I'm glad to have read it. I'm a southern gal through and through, and I'd like to think myself a Southern Belle. I'm really invested in my genealogy, and I have my family tracked for years to the late sixteen century in the Carolinas, and Virginia, and then later Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. I guess one way to put it, is to say that I'm completely biased. I love the bumper sticker that says "North 1 South 0 Half Time". Not that I'm saying "yay to slavery", but I know the stories, and have read journals of my own family members and have seen how cruel some of the North was against them. Not saying the South were angels, but I'm partial to my rebels, as they are my own blood. With that said... It's often hard for me to ever feel much for a story with Norther ties and empathy.
Not at all the case with this book. I so feel for the characters, they are completely real to me, and I'm fully on their side! This book was incredible. I cannot count the times that I giggled, or rolled my eyes. I have no recollection of how many times I scoffed or said, "MEN!". I am quite unsure of how many times I snickered and had a little evil laugh, feeling I'm sure the emotions of Sophie and her girls. In all cases, it was plenty, and I definitely was smiling through out this novel. That is, when I wasn't scowling and wanting revenge for my own self. The sermons were perfect and powerful, and so true to how God works. The reactions of the characters was real, and the men were not overly flowery, but were such "men". (A problem often found with women authors, but not so with this book in my opinion. With that said, usually male authors have problems with their female characters in my mind too.)
Sophie is such a strong woman, struggling to keep it all together, and I just love her personality. The girls are fabulous, and I really giggle and evil giggle with Beth loving what she's up to. I really cannot praise this story enough, now that I think about it. So many different personalities are captured within the different characters, and the main two commandments of Love from Jesus Christ reverberate through the pages. Even the most stubborn of a person can see a little insight into themselves through these pages.
February 1st 2007 by Barbour Books
Paperback, 320 pages
- literary awards
International Readers Choice Contest Finalist Long Historical Fiction Category
1597896470 (isbn13: 9781597896474)