We meet Eliza Spalding Warren after the death of her mother, and just as she is coming of age. She struggles with past memories of a time when she was held hostage during an a Cayuse Indian uprising. Without naming it, we are very accurately walked through moments of PTSD shown through flashbacks.
Eliza is largely responsible for the care and maintaining of the family home while her missionary father continues with his work- how ever joyless it is for him. She falls in love and longing for a different life – she and Mr. Warren elope. Life is hard for them, but they are a determined to succeed, despite a myriad of personal demons they both carry, as well as simply the challenge of life in a wilderness state.
Always trusting in a God who is very real to Eliza, her husband comes to know and follow God’s plans. We learn from Eliza’s mother’s diary of events in the past, and the foundation of Eliza’s inheritance of faith.
We learn that although facing the past – even as our own recollections might not be the exact way things happen – is healing. Eliza has occasion to revisit the site of her trauma, and by talking with people who were there with her, she sees that God was placing every detail of her protection all along. The lesson for us all is that by facing our past hurts and wounds, with God’s help, we can see the truth of our triumph through and in spite of them. We might even see that God uses these to make us stronger and healthier for it.
I enjoyed this read – it was great to learn an aspect of American history I had not known before. It was also a great way to illustrate the brave steps we each must take, as we seek to recover from past traumas.
Thank you to Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications for providing this book for my independent review.