Book Reviews

an uncommon woman

Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa’s long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand–and heart–are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Intense, evocative, and laced with intricate historical details that bring the past to life, An Uncommon Woman will transport you to the picturesque and dangerous western Virginia mountains of 1770.

Indian captivity has always intrigued me, and I have read several children books about Indian captives while I was growing up. So of course, I would be interested in this more grown up version of a returned Indian captive and the feelings and aftermath and the differences.

This was a well executed book in that respect. The details were pretty much amazing, the description of the wars and the Indians themselves were so realistic. I could picture the scenes in my head, and that makes a book all the better, I think. The fort, and life within a fort, and the hardships of an uncivilized land were all spoken of, without the characters really complaining about it — and that was nice. So often you find the main characters complaining and bewailing the hardships, while, in all honesty, they really wouldn’t have known any different. And in 1770 — let’s just be real — even life in a city would seem a hardship to us modern folk, used to modern conveniences. So I appreciated that aspect, a lot.

The story line was well written, and believable. As I mentioned before, the authors use of language brought vivid pictures into my mind, and I could “see” everything that was taking place.

The characters were well executed, as well. I would have liked to know more about Clay Tygart — he was so tight lipped, and I think hat a bit more of what had happened to him as a child would have brought a depth into his character he was lacking, but as it was, he was still relatable. The brothers and their interaction with Tessa were sweet. I loved how they wanted to protect her and provide for her, and even the over-protectiveness that Jasper showed was understandable. I would have liked to get to know the brothers more — a few of them were vividly alive, and others were just characters helping the story along.

I almost feel as if Keturah should have a story all o herself, as well. The glimpses we got of her life, past, present, and future, just weren’t enough.

And Tessa . . . she was one complicated heroine. I liked the fact that she wasn’t afraid to be known as “Spinster Swan” and didn’t sit around, lamenting the fact that she wasn’t married yet, even though she was in her mid-twenties. The way she jumps in and helps with whatever needs to be done is a lesson. And her showing hospitality to the Indians with the reasoning that she knows how her brothers act when they are hungry versus well fed, was the perfect summation of her character.

The romance in the story was sweet and subtle. I knew it was in there, from the summary, but I appreciated how it was built on the work ethics and the character traits of the other. And I enjoyed reading how neither felt at first that it was God’s will for them to marry, at all, and so fought against any emotional entanglement. The meddlesome aunt added a bit of hilarity to the whole situation, and the situation with the many shelves of books during the wedding journey was pretty funny. And totally expected.

I enjoyed this books and am looking forward to reading more form this author.

I’m thankful to Revell for gifting me with a copy of this book.
I was not required to enjoy the book, merely to give my honest opinion. 

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I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.

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