My review of Through Rushing Water by Catherine Richmond

About the book:

When the life she planned for herself is snatched away, Sophia’s eyes open to the life God has planned for her.

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 review:

Through Rushing Wateris an eye-opening novel about the hardships suffered by the Indians back in the 1800s and specifically the Ponca Nation. I enjoyed reading about the firt impression that the people had regarding Sophia, the heroine, and how over time she changed their opinion of her. The things the tribe and the people working with the trible suffered were horrible, and yet they hung in there and kept pressing on. I loved how the author showed the blessing that came from helping the helpless and based on what the tribe had to work with, which was very little, they really were in a lose-lose situation. The fact that they were moved off their land and so many died is heart breaking as well.

This gripping saga of suffering and hidden blessings found in the midst of incredible trials is not a story for wimps, that’s for sure. I loved how the title fit the one thing that helped Sophia to cope with the toughest situations, which was to “ignore the rushing water.” That was the only way she could focus on the critical needs and not feel like she was drowning from the many things she couldn’t do anything about. She could serve the person in front of her. That was a great analogy and one I’ll remember when I feel overwhelmed.

Though I have to say I grew frustrated with Will and Sophia’s lack of communication about their feelings and the many assumptions they made along the way that weren’t true. I was rooting for them and wondering if they’d ever make that heart connection that would lead to marriage. While the delay was enough to make me pull my hair out in anticipation, it was a satisfying ending. The book seemed a tad long to me in that the resolution was long in coming, but overall it was a good read and I enjoyed it a lot.

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