by Terry Burns
A sweet fiction story told by some good ol’ folks headed west on the Santa Fe Trail on the in 1879.
Janie and her overly zealous husband seek to convert savages. Naively, they leave their wagon train and her husband is killed by the first American Indians they see. Totally unprepared, Janie gathers her resolve and faith to continue the journey.
Two cowboys discover her trail and track her to offer assistance. As the two travel together, Janie collects a variety of living things from a baby skunk to a 14 year old boy to an outcast squaw. Once they find a settlement to join, Janie discovers love again.
Don’t expect a romance novel as this story is more about heavenly love than human. In fact, it mostly portrays human love as misguided, especially as it comes to sharing the good news. Janie must continually face her own stereotypes and expectations. As Janie learns about life and love, the reader gleans important lessons.
Full of colorful colloquialisms, the reader will find a bunch of “reckons” “gonnas” and “rights” as in “I’m right thirsty.” The land is described as so barren that, “…they don’t figure how many cows per acre, they figure acres per cows.” (P. 50) One man’s skin is said to be, “…blacker than the inside of a panther’s belly in the middle of a coal mine.” (p. 53)
If the reader can see past the thick colloquialisms, you will find a light hearted story with deep messages.